Tour de France: Slick prologue roads put Manuel Cardoso and Mathias Frank on the casualty list
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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Tour de France: Slick prologue roads put Manuel Cardoso and Mathias Frank on the casualty list

by Ben Atkins at 4:17 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Injury
Just two riders crashed on the wet Rotterdam streets but both may have to abandon

manuel cardosoDespite the wet and slippery city streets experienced by the vast majority of riders in today’s Tour de France prologue, only two riders actually came down: Manuel Cardoso (Footon-Servetto) and Mathias Frank (BMC Racing). How seriously those two riders were hurt, and whether they will start tomorrow’s first road stage, will be known after they have been treated in hospital in Rotterdam.

Cardoso was well over half way into the 8.9km course when he slid off on one of the most technical corners. The Portuguese rider landed heavily, taking a hard blow to his head and collarbone, but despite bleeding heavily he remounted and finished the course.

"He wasn't taking too many risks,” said Footon-Servetto-Fuji director Joxean Fernández Matxin, “but I think he assumed that the turn wasn't so sharp and went almost full-on. The crash was brutal and we got terribly scared when we saw how blood was coming out of his head. We'll see if he can continue, but still he showed his guts: he only wanted to get on his bike again, and when taken to the ambulance, he was whining and saying he would continue the race at any cost."

Cardoso finished the stage in last place, 6’20” behind winner Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank).

Just nine minutes after Cardoso, Mathias Frank also hit the tarmac. The Swiss rider sustained a cut to his lip and, more worryingly, a broken right thumb; he remounted and finished the course 3’32” behind Cancellara.

The team has not yet decided whether the 23-year-old will be able to continue, but with 13.2km of cobbles in stage 3 to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut, a broken thumb is not an ideal injury to be carrying.


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