For the second day in a row, winds shredded the Paris-Nice peloton. The bunch split into frantic echelons on the flat roads of Northern France in stage 2. At the back of one of those groups, Rigoberto Urán’s race came to an untimely end. The Colombian climber touched wheels with another rider and tumbled to the pavement, breaking his left clavicle.
“I had a tough crash,” Uran said in a story on the EF Education First team website. “Today, there was a lot of wind. I touched a rider, another rider touched my wheel. … I feel disappointed, of course. I had good legs. That’s cycling.”
The day before, Urán safely made it through stage 1. Notable riders fell victim to the winds on that Sunday stage, including Michael Matthews (Sunweb).
Urán, 32, was one of EF’s key riders for the early season stage race. The Colombian, who was second in the 2017 Tour de France, was again building up for a run at the yellow jersey in July.
His team CEO Jonathan Vaughers said the setback is unfortunate as the season begins to ramp up.
“It’s always tough when you see anyone on the team take a hard fall like that. These guys put a ton of time in during the off-season training for the early season, so I feel for them when there’s a setback,” said Vaughters. “We wish Rigo [Urán] a speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming him back to the races once he’s ready.”
Without Urán, EF’s top rider in the overall is Mitch Docker, who was 29th after stage 2. However, he is more suited to the flat classics races.
Tejay van Garderen, a newcomer to the EF team in 2019, sat 51st, a little over three minutes behind Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma), winner of the first two stages and the race’s overall leader.
Urán will leave his teammates behind and return to Monaco immediately for surgery on his broken bone Wednesday morning.
Also in Monday’s stage, Warren Barguil (Arkea-Samsic) crashed and fractured his cervical spine. The 27-year-old, who won the king of the mountains title in the 2017 Tour, was transported to a hospital near Paris for treatment.
Gorka Izagirre (Astana), who was third in last year’s Paris-Nice, was another notable abandonment, suffering a head injury and temporary loss of consciousness.