• Heinrich Haussler gets attention after a late fall during Stage 2 (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
A string of crashes in the closing kilometres saw a number of riders injured and having to consider whether to continue racing.
By
Cycling Central

9 Jul 2018 - 7:24 AM  UPDATED 9 Jul 2018 - 7:27 AM

There's often a lot of nerves in the first few stages of the Tour de France. Every rider is keen to make a good impression and fight hard for position and that leads to a lot of early crashes. 

2018 has been no different, with even some of the favourites to win the race overall slipping down the standings due to crashes on the first two stages.

Stage 2 saw some nasty injuries, with Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) having to abandon after tangling with a Cofidis rider and landing on a traffic island. He attempted to remount his bike, but after attempting to grip the handlebars, the Spaniard gave up on that idea quickly.

Team Astana released a statement after the race on Sanchez's condition.

"After further examination in the local hospital of La Roche-sur-Yon, it is now clear that Luis Leon Sanchez has a fracture in his elbow and in four of his left ribs. For the elbow, surgery will be needed, which he will undergo in Spain. The exact period of recovery is not clear yet, and will be communicated after the surgery."

The other abandon of the stage was Tsgabu Grmay (Trek-Segafredo) who climbed into the team car at the 92 kilometre mark, complaining of severe abdominal pain. 

 

There were a number of other crashes throughout the stage, with Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ) going down in dramatic fashion, before recovering well and going on to finish the stage. 

The other team to be badly affected was Mitchelton-Scott, who saw Adam Yates crash for the second day in a row, as well as key support riders Daryl Impey and Luke Durbridge in separate falls. The Australian squad will go into the Stage 3 team time trial with a bit of a banged up squad. 

Heinrich Haussler (Bahrain Merida) was another rider affected by the fall, lying and sitting by the side of the road for a while after the final crash within the last two kilometres.  Bahrain Merida reported after the stage that all was well with the Australian.

“It’s just normal," commented Haussler. "It is only the second day of Tour de France and everyone wants to win. There were too many people in the front and six riders."

Lawson Craddock (EF Education First-Drapac) was the notable survivor of the stage, nursing a broken scapula through the stage after his fall on the first day of racing.