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Forster wins crash-marred sprint at Circuit de la Sarthe

German Robert Forster (Gerolsteiner) sprinted to victory in Tuesday's first stage of the Circuit de la Sarthe, a 193km leg between Mouilleron-le-Captif and Saint-Mars-la-Jaille. Forster outkicked Italian Alberto Loddo (Selle Italia) and France's Anthony Ravard (Bouygues Telecom) to take the stage and the lead on general classification. The finale was marred by a dramatic crash on the finishing straight that took down several riders, including Americans Tyler Farrar (Cofidis) and Saul Raisin (Crédit Agricole), along with Ceramica Panaria-Navigare teammates Brett Lancaster of

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By Agence France Presse

Forster triumphs in a crash-scarred finale

Forster triumphs in a crash-scarred finale

Photo: AFP

German Robert Forster (Gerolsteiner) sprinted to victory in Tuesday’s first stage of the Circuit de la Sarthe, a 193km leg between Mouilleron-le-Captif and Saint-Mars-la-Jaille.

Forster outkicked Italian Alberto Loddo (Selle Italia) and France’s Anthony Ravard (Bouygues Telecom) to take the stage and the lead on general classification.

The finale was marred by a dramatic crash on the finishing straight that took down several riders, including Americans Tyler Farrar (Cofidis) and Saul Raisin (Crédit Agricole), along with Ceramica Panaria-Navigare teammates Brett Lancaster of Australia and Guillermo Bongiorno of Argentina, leaving their participation in the four-stage race in doubt.

Bongiorno managed to get up while Farrar and Lancaster stayed down for a few minutes, receiving treatment. Both were conscious. As for Raisin, he appears to be definitely out of the race. He has a suspected broken collarbone, a bruised hip and facial injuries, including a cut above his eyebrow.

All riders involved in the crash were taken to hospital.

—Agence France Presse