Tour de France: Tadej Pogačar, Chris Froome, Dani Martínez, Ben O’Connor involved in a late accident

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The “three kilometer rule” has come to the rescue of several riders with global ambitions on Stage 2 of the Tour de France after a late crash saw several potential GC contenders fall or end up being held down after a accident with 2.3 km to go.

Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) narrowly avoided the main crash but suffered a double puncture while crossing the barriers. Like all the riders involved in the accident, he got the same finish time as the leader and new yellow jersey Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma).

“I couldn’t avoid it in the end. I hit the barrier and my two wheels broke,” Pogačar said at the finish.

“I’m fine. I stayed on my bike and just hit my first one. I hope all the guys on the field are fine. The last 3 km have tremendous speed, especially today after the headwind It’s really risky and hard to avoid them. Hope I’m okay. Looks like I got a fight.

Ben O’Connor (Ag2r-Citroën) was one of the main drivers to hit the bridge. The Aussie finished fourth overall in the 2021 Tour de France but has already been retired in this year’s race after losing nearly a minute in the opening time trial in Copenhagen and then crashed in a tense and chaotic final on stage 2.

“I’m fine. I just did a front jump and couldn’t avoid the crash to be honest,” O’Connor said.

“But that’s how it is. At least it’s better than last year’s stage one crash. Today was in the last 3 miles and I wasted no time. I really don’t know what happened. I just couldn’t stop before,” he added.

“I just got caught in a stupid accident 3 km from the finish. It sucks but that doesn’t take anything away from me.

Read also : Crash on the Grand Belt bridge kills Yves Lampaert and several riders in stage 2 of the Tour

He was not the only pilot to crash with Dani Martínez of Ineos Grenadiers, one of the first pilots to touch the bridge after a touchdown.

Geraint Thomas managed to escape the carnage and finished in the same group as stage winner Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) but Martinez’s injuries are unknown at this stage. Filippo Ganna also fell in the same incident.

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome also crashed 2.3km from the finish and could be seen finishing the stage with a torn jersey.

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