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LE HAVRE, France (VN) — Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin) is uninjured following a small tumble near the start of Wednesday’s stage. Teammate Jack Bauer, an important part of the squad’s team time trial lineup, is out of the Tour with a broken hip.
“I don’t have a scrape on me,” Talansky told VeloNews prior to Thursday’s start.
Talansky’s crash occurred early in the stage when Greg van Avarmaet (BMC Racing) tangled with a Cannondale rider in a rain-slicked corner. The American GC contender brushed off the incident, saying “it was probably the most minor crash of all the crashes yesterday.”
“The wind adds a little bit of stress, the possibility of it splitting, and then the rain, obviously, just made it … kinda took the stress level up one more notch,” Talansky said of the stage.
Bauer, who went down in a separate incident later in the stage, faired far worse but is in good spirits, according to Talansky. He was taken out of the race and to the hospital mid-stage, and it was discovered he suffered a fracture of the greater trochanter of his left hip. He remains under the close supervision of the medical team and will return to Girona, Spain in the coming days.
“We saw him, and he’s still his smiling self despite everything, and asking how everybody else is,” Talansky said.
“It’s always a blow when you lose a teammate no matter who it is. You don’t like to see one of your friends, one of your teammates, have to go home early. I experienced that last year and it’s not a very nice thing to go through.”
Bauer was one of Cannondale’s rouleurs, and would have been a key part of the upcoming team time trial effort.
“It’s a loss for the team time trial and just in general, but we still have a great eight guys left here,” Talansky said. “It speaks to his personality and what a tough guy he is that he got back up after that happened. The fact that he just wanted to continue the race, but obviously he needed to stop.”
The Tour peloton tackles a rolling, 191.5-kilometer stage along the northern French coast on Thursday, with winds expected in the second half of the route. It will be yet another in a string of stressful stages, which have seen GC contenders take every opportunity, no matter how small, to put time into their rivals.
“You’re seeing people take advantage from day one, if there’s a chance to split the field there’s a chance to gain something,” Talansky said of the perilous first week. “I don’t think people are just content to just sit and wait. I think up until the team time trial all the GC teams, everybody, is looking to try to maybe start that with a leg up on the rest of the competition.”