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Video: Hesjedal only Garmin-Sharp rider left in Tour de France hunt

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Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) before the start.

Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) before the start. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) signs on.

Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) signs on. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Christian Vande Velde and Tyler Farrar at the start of the race

Christian Vande Velde and Tyler Farrar at the start of the race (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Garmin-Sharp revived memories of one of its most painful Tour de France stages on stage 3 from Orchies to Boulogne-sur-Mer with a number of its riders crashing and losing time. In 2010 on the road to Spa, the team was decimated by series of crashes that saw almost their entire squad lose time and its GC leader leave the race in an ambulance.

On Tuesday’s undulating stage, the outcome was only slightly better, but Tom Danielson, a top 10 finisher in 2011, was taken to hospital and diagnosed with a separated shoulder, while Daniel Martin, Christian Vande Velde and Tyler Farrar all suffered and lost time. Only Giro winner Ryder Hesjedal was able to stay with the leaders.

It means that last year’s winners of the teams classification must reassess its objectives in this year’s Tour. On the one hand the duties are far simpler with the team now completely committed to Ryder Hesjedal’s GC bid. Tom Danielson may not start stage 4 and even if he does, his injury, coupled with the nine minutes he lost on the road means that the team’s plan B for general classification has evaporated.

Daniel Martin still remains a threat for stage wins in the mountains. The Irish Tour debutant remained upright on today’s tricky parcours and despite losing time in the overall he will be keen to see the race enter more testing terrain in the second week.