Garmin-Sharp cyclists put some skin in the game on Stage 3 of the Tour de France on Tuesday, as in skinned elbows and skinned knees.
Taking the hardest fall was US cyclist Tom Danielson, who suffered a separated shoulder in a crash but finished the race none-the-less. Although in obvious pain when he finished the stage on Tuesday, Danielson visited the hospital and returned to the peloton to ride Stage 4 on Wednesday.
Other Garmin cyclists to go down included Ryder Hesjedal (Canada), Tyler Farrar and Christian Vande Velde.
Danielson finished the stage 9 minutes 11 seconds after the winner, dropping to 126th place overall. He started the day in 34th place, only 31 seconds behind the leader.
Although Hesjedal crashed early in the stage, his teammates helped him recover the peloton to retain 9th place overall. Winner of this year’s Giro d’Italia, the Canadian is Garmin’s hope for the general classification. Danielson, who finished in the top 10 last year, was the back up GC candidate.
Team manager Jonathan Vaughters told CyclingNews:
“Our first objective is to ride for the GC for him (Hesjedal), so we’re very fortunate that that objective is still alive, because we had a lot of bad luck elsewhere today. … So we’re all in for Ryder at this point. You know, eight guys dedicated to helping him.”
When cyclists weren’t crashing into each other, the peloton traced a 122-mile winding route along narrow roads between Orchies and Boulogne-sur-Mer.
Liquigas speedster Peter Sagan attacked in the closing meters, beating his rivals by several bike lengths and enough to pump his arms as if he were running. That set off some criticism that the 22-year-old were showing off. If so, let him have his fun. He’s just won two out of the last three road stages at the Tour.
The RadioShack team kept race leader Fabian Cancellara out of trouble all day, and he retained his overall lead for another day.
Meanwhile, Tacoma, Washington-native Tejay Van Garderen maintained his fourth place overall, keeping the best young rider’s jersey.
Top 10 overall
|1.||SUI CANCELLARA Fabian||12||RADIOSHACK-NISSAN||14h 45′ 30”|
|2.||GBR WIGGINS Bradley||101||SKY PROCYCLING||14h 45′ 37”||+ 00′ 07”|
|3.||FRA CHAVANEL Sylvain||192||OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP||14h 45′ 37”||+ 00′ 07”|
|4.||USA VAN GARDEREN Tejay||9||BMC RACING TEAM||14h 45′ 40”||+ 00′ 10”|
|5.||NOR BOASSON HAGEN Edvald||102||SKY PROCYCLING||14h 45′ 41”||+ 00′ 11”|
|6.||RUS MENCHOV Denis||131||KATUSHA TEAM||14h 45′ 43”||+ 00′ 13”|
|7.||AUS EVANS Cadel||1||BMC RACING TEAM||14h 45′ 47”||+ 00′ 17”|
|8.||ITA NIBALI Vincenzo||51||LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE||14h 45′ 48”||+ 00′ 18”|
|9.||CAN HESJEDAL Ryder||61||GARMIN-SHARP-BARRACUDA||14h 45′ 48”||+ 00′ 18”|
|10.||GER KLÖDEN Andréas||15||RADIOSHACK-NISSAN||14h 45′ 49”||+ 00′ 19”|