Lotto Belisol: Greg Henderson abandons after crash, also Bak and De Clercq hit the ground
After three days of racing in England, the Tour headed to France with a stage from Le Touquet to Lille. With only two short climbs of fourth category on the route the stage looked like an new opportunity for sprinters. The first stage on French soil didn’t go smoothly for Lotto Belisol, as three riders crashed. Greg Henderson was forced to abandon. He has to undergo minor surgery. Bak and De Clercq also hit the ground, but could continue the race.
The break of the day consisted of Voeckler and Maté, who attacked soon after the start. With less than 30 kilometer to go Bart De Clercq, who was riding in first position, crashed at a roundabout. Behind him also teammates Lars Bak and Bart De Clercq crashed. Bak and De Clercq could continue, but Henderson stayed on the ground. The Tour is over for him. The team has lost an important member of the sprint train.
Back to the race report: Voeckler couldn’t stay ahead of a chasing peloton. His companion Maté got reeled in earlier because of a mechanical defect. It was a sprint again, with Marcel Kittel who won. Kristoff and Démare got second and third respectively. André Greipel became sixth. Tomorrow it’s the cobblestone stage between Ypres and Arenberg.
Team doctor Jan Mathieu: “Greg Henderson has a deep cut of twelve centimeters on his right knee. During a first check-up in the medical cabinet after the finish, the wound was stitched. Tonight Greg will go to the hospital of Herentals where he will undergo minor surgery by doctor Toon Claes. The knee will be drained to avoid the wound gets infected.”
“Lars Bak hit his head and has abrasions on the right side of his body. After the finish he was a bit dizzy. Bart De Clercq also hit his right side: shoulder, hip and knee. Both riders could continue the race.”