• Simon Gerrans (centre) and William Bonnet amongst the bodies after the Stage 3 crash as Ramon Sinkeldam of Giant-Alpecin wails in pain (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
The upsetting aftermath of Stage 3 continued with more bad news as Orica-GreenEDGE confirmed race-ending fractures for Simon Gerrans and Daryl Impey.
By
Cycling Central

7 Jul 2015 - 7:53 AM  UPDATED 12 Jul 2015 - 9:19 AM

DESKTOP INTERACTIVE: Pain of the peloton

The Orica-GreenEDGE team was the hardest hit in the horrific, high-speed crash that happened with 58km to go from the finsih of the 159.5km stage to Huy. Five riders from the team went down, including Australian Gerrans, who was forced to abandon immediately with a fractured wrist.

For FDJ, William Bonnet was in a serious condition, with a multi-fragmented fracture of his second cervical vertebra, which saw him quickly transferred to Paris for surgery to stabilise his neck, statement from the team read.

Bonnet was reported to be in a coma as his condition was dealt with.

As for Gerrans, his race, too, is over.

"He's fractured his wrist," Orica GreenEDGE director Matt White told Fox Sports.

"He's going to need surgery over the next couple of days, and it's very very disappointing for him.

"It's very disappointing for anyone to have to pull out of the Tour de France, but he's had a nightmare of a year with injury.

"Hopefully this is the last of it because he's had more bad luck this year than I think he's had his whole career."

Also hit with injuries, but able to return to their bikes, were Simon Yates, Michael Matthews, Impey and Michael Albasini.

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As Gerrans’s wrist fracture was confirmed, scans also revealed a fractured collarbone for Impey, who then withdrew from the race as a result.

Simon Yates, Albasini and Matthews will continue to be monitored but are expected to start Stage 4.

“We had five guys involved in the crash, so we definitely had some bad luck today,” White added. “Unfortunately that’s cycling.”

The race was neutralised after the main crash with 58km to go, as emergency vehicles tended to a large number of troubled riders.

Once racing resumed, a change of wind saw a split in the bunch but after the lessons of the previous stage, it was back together with 30km to go.

While Impey nursed his broken collarbone to finish the stage more than 11 minutes back, Simon Yates, the best young rider in the Criterium du Dauphine this year, dug deep for a brave eighth place finish in Huy.

Simon Yates finished 11 seconds behind stage winner Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha). Chris Froome (Sky) finished second to wear the yellow jersey as the leader in the general classification.

“It was a very impressive ride from Simon, especially considering he was pretty banged up,” said White. “I don’t know how he did it, but to go head-to-head with those guys, it’s a very good sign.“

“His injuries aren’t too bad and hopefully they’ll heal up in a few days’ time, so today’s a good sign for targets ahead.”

Post race, all Orica-GreenEDGE riders involved in the crash were evaluated and treated.

“We obviously feel for Gerro and Impey, and the other riders who were forced to withdraw, who have had to end their Tour de France campaign here after working so hard to hit peak form," White said.

“The other guys will continue to be assessed by our medical team. Tomorrow’s cobbles could come at a better time, but we are hopeful that after a few days, the guys will heal up again.”

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