We were well positioned until everything went wrong.
The team was primed to set up Matthew Goss in the anticipated bunch sprint and while the day started according to plan, it all came undone in the final hour of racing.
“We were well positioned until everything went wrong,” said Matt Wilson.
“It was an easy race until that point. Everyone was fresh. Then, in a space of two kilometres, we had two guys out. Ten kilometres later, Gossy punctured, so we lost our race leader. Daryl crashed inside one kilometre to go. We were all there, and it was looking good for us, but cycling is like that sometimes. It can go from good to bad pretty quickly.”
Australian Stuart O’Grady and Belgian Jens Keukeleire crashed towards the end of the race, hitting the deck with another rider. O'Grady is reported to have broken his collarbone and fractured four of his ribs. He will undergo surgery for his collarbone tomorrow.
Keukeleire received stitches to a laceration on his upper thigh.
Goss's puncture rendered the team leader out of contention so Daryl Impey became the one to ride for in the final sprint.
In a terrible case of deja-vu, Impey was caught in a crash a few hundred metres from the line to add another casualty to the Orica-GreenEDGE tally. Impey fractured some of ribs.
The race was eventually won by Arnaud Demare (FDJ-BigMat) who out-sprinted André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) and Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack-Nissan).
Goss was the first of just four Orica-GreenEDGE riders to finish, hampered by a punctured, he trickled in 10min 28sec behind the winner.