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Primož Roglič is battered and bruised after Monday’s stage 3 of the Tour de France, but the Jumbo-Visma leader will continue in the race.
Hours after the finish of the stage — which saw Roglič crash onto the side of the road with 8km to go and lose more than a minute to his rival — the Slovenian emerged from the race’s medical car. The prognosis was good — no broken bones.
“Luckily we saw that everything is still in one piece, nothing is broke, I’m all open all around but I’d say not the best day for us, but we got on and we can continue,” Roglič said. “It was a super stressful final with these roads. Not the best day for us but we continue.”
Roglič was asked whether the Tour de France organizers should change the rules to allow him and other GC contenders to avoid losing time on the crash-marred stage, which saw three pileups inside the final 10km. Roglič said it wasn’t for him to decide.
“I’m not the guy who can say these things and I don’t even know how everything was,” he said. “I just saw guys laying on the ground. Most of all it is always shit because we are training so hard for that and nobody deserves to be on the floor and we will see. First of all is to get through the days and then we see. As long as we are in the race we can fight.”
Roglič lost 1:21 to stage winner Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) and tumbled from fourth place overall to 20th in GC. He’s now 1:35 down on leader Mathieu van der Poel, but more importantly, he’s more than a minute behind GC favorite Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) and almost a minute behind Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates).
He wasn’t the only GC star to hit the deck on Monday. Geraint Thomas fell heavily in the opening hours, skidding to the tarmac on wet roads. He was later confirmed to have dislocated his shoulder before having the joint popped back into the socket by a medic. He gingerly remounted his bike to be paced back to the peloton.
A very hectic final of this stage. A lot of crashes in the last 10km.
Primoz Roglic loses 1’20” on the front of the race.
— Team Jumbo-Visma cycling (@JumboVismaRoad) June 28, 2021
Two further crashes occurred after Roglič’s tumble.
Thomas and Tadej Pogačar was caught behind the first at around 7km to go and were left out of time to catch back on. They both lost 26 seconds on Richard Carapaz and Julian Alaphilippe, who finished on the same time as the bunch sprint.
.@RichardCarapazM emerged through the late carnage to finish 13th in a wild third stage of #TDF2021. He takes a strong step forward on the early GC. @GeraintThomas86 showed incredible grit to ride on after his crash. He finished in a group 26seconds back. pic.twitter.com/zlhnzOfaWU
— INEOS Grenadiers (@INEOSGrenadiers) June 28, 2021
Peter Sagan and Caleb Ewan then hit the deck in the frantic lead toward the sprint finish. They both rode to the line although it is unclear if they were injured.
Monday’s stage proved a double disaster for Roglič. Along with a major time loss, he lost key lieutenant Robert Gesink in the early crash that bought down Thomas. Much like stage 1 on Saturday, the high-pressure, no let-up Tour de France is slowly being shaped by crashes.