With Friday's mass crash fest, Garmin was handed the worst news.
A reduced peloton of 182 riders
started the seventh stage of the Tour de France Saturday a day after a
mass pile-up led to 12 abandons and many riders nursing injury and
severe road rash.
American Tom Danielson (Garmin), Davide Vigano
(Lampre) and Spaniard Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel) quit the race prior to
the stage finish in Metz where Slovakian Peter Sagan took his third win
of the race.
Spaniard Oscar Freire (Katusha), Belgian Maarten
Wynants (Rabobank) and Dutchman Wouter Poels of Vacansoleil were
confirmed as having quit the race after the stage.
morning more casualties were added to the list with Spaniards Amets
Txurruka (Euskaltel), Imanol Erviti and Jose Ivan Gutierrez (both
Movistar), Canada's Ryder Hesjedal and South African Robert Hunter (both Garmin) and Frenchman Hubert Dupont (AG2R-La Mondiale) all pulling out.
It brings the number of retirements from the race to 16 since the start in Liege a week ago. Dutchman Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank), Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar)
and Kanstantsin Sivtsov (Team Sky) had all quit prior to Friday's stage
because of injuries suffered in crashes.
Germany Marcel Kittel of
Argos-Shimano withdrew after 40km of racing Thursday having suffered
from a stomach virus since Monday. Swiss Fabian Cancellara of
RadioShack started the stage in the race leader's yellow jersey with a
7sec lead on Britain's Bradley Wiggins (Sky) and a 17s lead on
Australia's defending champion Cadel Evans (BMC).
WHAT ABOUT GARMIN?
Garmin team leader Ryder Hesjedal has pulled out of the Tour de France after suffering several injuries in the crash-marred sixth stage, team chief Jonathan Vaughters said Saturday.
"Ryder is not going to start. Sad but he will be back," Vaughters said on his Twitter account.
Canada's recent Giro d'Italia champion, considered a yellow jersey outsider, was one of several Garmin men to suffer in the 60 km/h pile-up 26 kilometres from the finish line of Friday's 205 km stage from Epernay to Metz.
Hesjedal, who suffered a hematoma "right on his hip joint" according to Vaughters, was in a "sombre, quiet mood" Saturday as both he and teammate Tom Danielson prepared to travel to the airport in Paris.
"We figured his hematoma would go down overnight, but it didn't," Vaughters said prior to the seventh stage to the race's first hilltop finish at La Planche des Belles Filles in the Vosges.
"The problem is to the degree that he can't actually bend his leg. He's in a pretty quiet sombre mood this mornig, there wasn't a whole lot of debate (about his participation)."
Danielson was also forced out of the race, along with five riders from other teams, and on Saturday morning Garmin were among many teams counting their maimed and injured. Danielson suffered a reoccurrence of the separated shoulder he sustained in a crash on stage three as well as a sprained neck, chest contusion and multiple extensive deep abrasions, according to a Garmin team statement.
Belgian Johan Vansummeren arrived at the stage finish with barely a stitch of his cycling gear holding together and with patches of road rash on his back and buttocks. He was transported to a local hospital immediately where exams revealed a sprain to his right shoulder and upper back along with multiple abrasions, according to Garmin.
Vaughters, who as a rider suffered injury mishap on the Tour, said they would now be "in survival mode" until the first rest day on Tuesday before coming up with a new strategy.
"You have to come up with new objectives. You can't just ride along in the peloton," added the American, who revealed that Dan Martin is the only rider from the team who hasn't been part of any sort of crash. Once we get past the rest day and have been able to recover a little bit then we'll hope to start playing an open and aggressive game."
THE FINAL TALLY
Following is a list of the retirements and reasons for retirement:
Hubert Dupont (FRA) - sprained ankle, vertebrae and radius
Mikel Astarloza (ESP) - elbow
Amets Txurruka (ESP) - right collarbone fracture
Tom Danielson (USA) - shoulder
Robert Hunter (RSA) - vertebrae
Ryder Hesjedal (CAN) - hematoma hip, left knee
Oscar Freire (ESP) - broken rib
Davide Vigano (ITA) - broken collarbone
Imanol Erviti (ESP) - right leg
Jose Ivan Gutierrez (ESP) - right knee
Maarten Wynants (BEL) - broken ribs, perforated lung
Wouter Poels (NED) - broken ribs, injured spleen
Retirements prior to Friday:
Marcel Kittel (GER) - stomach virus
Jose Joaquin Rojas (ESP) - shoulder
Maarten Tjallingii (NED) - hip fracture
Kanstantsin Sivtsov (BLR) - tibia fracture