• Both Thomas and Froome escaped the high-speed crash relatively unscathed. (AAP)Source: AAP
General classification favourites react to hitting the deck 30km from the end of the Tour's first road stage.
Cycling Central

3 Jul 2017 - 9:22 AM  UPDATED 7 Jul 2017 - 2:55 PM

Tour de France general classification rivals Richie Porte and Chris Froome, along with yellow jersey wearer Geraint Thomas, were caught up in a crash 30km from the end of Stage 2 from Dusseldorf to Liege.

All three riders avoided serious injury, with the main casualty being Chris Froome's bibshorts.

“I have no injuries thankfully - I’ve just lost a little bit of skin on my backside," said Froome.

"That’s the nature of the race. We knew it was slippery conditions and every time you put the race numbers on there’s a big risk something could happen,"

“Someone slid just a few wheels ahead of me and at those speeds you just can’t avoid it. A few of us went down but thankfully everyone is okay and we got to the finish alright without losing any time to our rivals. That’s the main thing.”

Team Sky super-domestique and current race leader Thomas - a rider who is no stranger to having a little lie down with his bicycle mid-race - was also unhurt and somewhat blase about the incident.

“We were all in a decent position, top 10, top 15, coming into a roundabout and a couple of guys crashed. When it’s like that you’ve got nowhere to go really but we were all OK, all back up pretty quickly."

BMC Racing team leader Richie Porte expressed concern after banging his knee during the incident, but commented that other riders were worse off.

“I came out of the crash ok but there were a few guys that went down a lot harder. It was a stressful day. It was the first real stage of the Tour and then you get the rain, then it dries up, and then starts raining again.

"It was a nice one to come through and it’s nice to get the first crash out of the way and get on with it. Hopefully my knee is ok, I have a little bit of a bang on that, but I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

AG2R GC hopeful Romain Bardet, was also involved in the pile-up but rejoined the bunch with the rest of the main contenders.

While the injuries may seem minor, the crash does provide an insight into the nervousness of the bunch and the slippery conditions during the first two stages of this Tour de France. Small incidents can add up over a race of this length, too: what may seem to be of little concern now may cost energy that could prove crucial in three weeks' time.