BOULOGNE-SUR-MER, France (VN) – All three of Garmin-Sharp’s GC riders crashed during Wednesday’s third stage at the Tour de France, with Tom Danielson heading to the hospital for X-rays.
Team officials confirmed that Danielson suffered a separated right shoulder. They will decide Wednesday morning whether he will be able to start the fourth stage.
Giro d’Italia champion Ryder Hesjedal was caught up behind one of the major pileups during the crash-laden stage on narrow, wind-swept stages, but he was able to finish with the leaders to remain in contention in ninth at 18 seconds back.
Things were worse for Christian Vande Velde, who saw his GC hopes take a blow when he was caught behind a pileup just as the peloton was ramping up its speed in the closing hour of racing.
Vande Velde was leading the chase through the team cars late in the stage to try to limit his damage, but ceded 2:08 to fall to 58th at 2:29 back.
Danielson suffered the heaviest crash of the three, landing hard on his right shoulder. He managed to finish the stage at 9:11 back, but was immediately transported to a local hospital for X-rays.
One photographer confirmed that Danielson was riding without using his right hand on the handlebars, a bad sign for the veteran American who popped into the top-10 overall last year.
Sprinter Tyler Farrar, who also hit the deck twice in a rough day for the Garmin boys, said the stage was brutal.
“It couldn’t have been worse. I crashed twice and my teammates crashed. That’s the Tour,” Farrar said.
“My first crash was not as bad. I crashed a second time with Christian, then I was able to help him to try to reconnect with the group because he’s here for the GC.
“We gave the maximum. The race was over small roads, with a lot of nerves in the first week — a perfect recipe for a crash.”
Irish climber Daniel Martin also lost time, giving up 5:05 on the stage.
Editor’s note: Check back later for an update on the story.