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MONT VENTOUX, France (AFP) — Australia’s Simon Gerrans was forced to quit the Tour de France on Thursday after breaking his collarbone in a crash.
It was the second time in three years the Orica – BikeExchange rider has left the Tour with a collarbone injury. Gerrans, 36, was leading the peloton chasing a 13-man breakaway in the dramatic stage 12 on Thursday when he crashed on a fast descent leading to the final climb up the iconic Mont Ventoux.
He rode on and finished the stage but his jersey was shredded. He underwent X-rays after the stage which showed he’d suffered a broken collarbone.
Two years ago, on the opening stage in Britain, Mark Cavendish tangled with Gerrans, knocking the Australian to the ground in the sprint finish. Both riders had to quit the race with collarbone injuries.
Thursday’s 12th stage ended in pandemonium as a bottleneck of fans in the final kilometer on the Mont Ventoux climb caused a crash between a motorbike and three riders, including yellow jersey wearer Chris Froome. The Briton’s bike was broken in the crash, and the 31-year-old started running toward the finishing line before finally being given a replacement bike to ride to the finish.