Janez Brajkovic out of Tour de France due to crash
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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Janez Brajkovic out of Tour de France due to crash

by Shane Stokes at 9:58 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
Gesink, Contador and Sørensen also fall, but continue in race

Janez BrajkovicJanez Brajkovic, one of Team RadioShack’s four leaders in the Tour de France, has been forced to pull out of this year’s race due to a crash at the intermediate sprint of today’s fifth stage.

Moments after the green jersey contenders scrapped it out for the points at Goudelin (km 70), Brajkovic was one of several riders who went down on the left hand side of the bunch. Although the other riders involved were able to remount and continue, Brajkovic remained lying on his right side on the ground. He was treated by doctors and, after a couple of minutes, was helped to his feet, but was clearly dazed.

They dressed a wound on his head and then looked at his right knee, which also took a blow in the fall. A new bike was brought to him but after several more minutes, the rider was placed on a stretcher and placed in an ambulance.

Brajkovic won the 2010 Critérium du Dauphiné, beating Alberto Contador. He was one of the team’s protected riders for the race, and regarded as a possible contender for the race win. Chris Horner, Levi Leipheimer and Andreas Klöden are now the remaining team leaders.

Rabobank’s designated number one Robert Gesink also fell in the crash. He cut his left knee but remounted and chased with several others. Defending champion Alberto Contador went down in a separate incident around the same time, cutting the back of his jersey. He went to restart, then threw his bike in the ditch, apparently seeing a problem with it.

Contador restarted and joined the Gesink group; several team-mates dropped back and helped him to return.

The latest to crash is his team-mate Nicki Sørensen. He was riding on the right hand side of the peloton when a race motorbike came alongside him, hooked his bike and carried it away. Sørensen fell off and ended up at the side of the road; he received a new bike and will continue.

Four riders are currently clear, and hold a lead of half a minute one minute over the Garmin-Cervélo led bunch. They are Tristan Valentin (Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne), Sébastien Turgot (Team Europcar), José Ivan Gutierrez (Movistar Team) and Anthony Delaplace (Saur – Sojasun). The quartet are 70 kilometres from the end of the stage and look certain to be caught.


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