Slovakia’s Peter Velits is all but certain to miss the Tour de France after fracturing his collarbone in a fall on the second stage of the Citérium du Dauphiné on Tuesday.
The 25-year-old, who came second in Monday’s stage, crashed in the sprint as the riders approached the finish line at Bourg-Saint-Andeol.
Velits crossed the line before heading off for an x-ray.
The Slovak, winner of the World Under-23 Road Race Championship in 2007, was a likely starter in the Tour de France (3-25 July) for his team HTC-Columbia.
However, the team’s sporting director Allan Peiper believes that is now unlikely.
“At the end of May, he fell in the Tour of Bavaria and broke a little bone in his wrist, enough to cause him to withdraw,” Peiper told AFP.
“Even if he was fit again for the start of the Tour, he would be lacking in race practice.”
Velits will undergo medical tests on his collarbone over the next couple of days to determine whether he needs an operation.
Saxo Bank’s Juan Jose Haedo won Tuesday’s second stage, while Spaniard Alberto Contador of Astana retained his two-second lead over American Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Columbia) ahead of stage three, a 49km time trial on Wednesday.