Lawson Craddock (Giant-Alpecin) has been left with a fractured sternum, rib and wrist after he came down heavily on stage four of the Tour Down Under. Craddock was sent into a ditch after 25 kilometres of racing when he punctured on a wide stretch of road.
The Texan was immediately taken to hospital for x-rays. “Lawson has a lot of pain,” said Giant Alpecin directeur sportif Addy Engels. “Now, the doctors are unable to say much about how long he has to stay in the hospital. The doctor told me that he has broken his wrist, a rib and sternum. Tomorrow morning, they will review the situation and be able to tell us more.”
A big pile-up marked the final metres of stage four of the Tour Down Under, with several riders sent tumbling across the road in the sprint finish. The incident happened when the riders were travelling at almost 70kph and resulted in several riders taking a trip to the local hospital.
Maxime Bouet (Etixx-QuickStep) was one of the best placed GC riders to go down in the fall. "It was very fast. There was a big crash at about 200 metres. With the speed, it was impossible to brake,” Bouet told the race website after the stage. "I hope tomorrow is OK because I hit my leg, but I hope it will be OK for Willunga."
Some, like Astana’s Lars Boom and Team Sky’s Richie Porte, came through relatively unscathed and were able to walk across the finish line. Kenny Dehaes (Lotto-Soudal) was one of those injured in the crash after he caught his fingers in the spokes of his own wheel, he also suffered some abrasions to the back of his leg. The Belgian rider received 25 stitches in three of his fingers and Lotto-Soudal later confirmed that Dehaes had to abandon the race as a result of his injuries.
There was bad news for FDJ.fr riders Lorrenzo Manzin and Olivier Le Gac who, although they avoided any broken bones, were forced to abandon the race. The Katusha pair Alexey Tsatevich and Vladimir Isaychev were both caught up with the crash. Isaychev came through with not much more than some scrapes and bruises while Tsatevich could be seen nursing his shoulder, which had clearly been impacted in the fall.
Drapac’s Travis Meyer was one of those most affected by the crash. The Australian was sent to hospital for x-rays after the stage, which showed that he fractured his hand in the incident. “I thought I was getting through and then I realized I wasn’t and all I saw was barriers. I thought to myself, ‘I am going to go down hard’. It could have been a lot worse,” Meyer said in a team press release.
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