Tour de France (st. 6)
Quintana crashes in final ascent of Ingouville, suffers bruises and wounds in right-hand arm not jeopardizing his TDF aspirations; Valverde skids earlier in the stage, has small injuries in his gluteus and calf
An unfortunate crash into the final ascent of Lingouville, just under a kilometer from Le Havre’s arrivée, momentarily alarmed the Movistar Team’s fans into the finale of stage six in the Tour de France -191.5km starting at Abbeville-. After perfect teamwork from the Blues -with a quite recovered Dowsett, Herrada, Malori, Castroviejo, Gorka Izagirre, Erviti and Anacona all taking turns at the front of the bunch-, a crash between race leader Tony Martin (EQS) and Frenchman Coquard (EUC) caused a chain reaction which took down several GC contenders, including Nairo Quintana.
The Colombian, quickly helped out by José Herrada, who gave him his bike, reached the finish line with a wound in his right-hand elbow, caused by a chain wheel, and some other bruises over his arm, which were treated right at the telephone squad’s bus. “I was like three places behind Tony Martin and the crash that took him down also affected me”, said the Boyacá-born rider after the stage. “It’s a superficial wound; now that I’m still with all the ‘heat’ of the stage on me, I don’t feel any pain – I just hope it’s really nothing and feel my elbow OK tomorrow morning. People at home can feel calm about this.“
Another accidental collision was suffered by Alejandro Valverde earlier into the stage, even less serious than Nairo’s. After having a nature break, the Spanish road race champion slipped on the gravel when he went back on his bike, suffering bruises in his left gluteus and calf, as well as some pain all over his body and a blow to his back. The Murcian’s condition is not jeopardized looking into tomorrow’s stage seven -192.5km from Livarot and Fougères-, and neither are the finishing times by him and team-mate Quintana -dropped back after the incident, with Gorka Izagirre taking 10th into the sprint-, neutralized by the race jury.
“At this moment, I’m feeling pretty well,” explained Alejandro just after crossing the line. “It was really difficult to get into the sprint, and that swerve by Froome and the pile-up turned it into impossible. We should get the same time, so there’s no problem,” he finished.