Axel Domont (AG2R La Mondiale) was the first rider down, hitting the road hard as his bike catapulted away from him. The riders immediately behind him stood no chance and fell over the prostrate Frenchman, leading to a big pile-up on the road.
Upon arriving at the finish, Domont was examined by medics, and then transferred to the hospital in Vannes to undergo additional examinations including an x-ray.
“He is suffering from a fracture of the right collarbone. The X-Ray did not, however, detect a fracture to the skull nor the ribs,” Dr. Eric Bouvat, medical officer of the AG2R La Mondiale team, explained.
Also injured in the crash was Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal). The Strade Bianche winner managed to struggle through to the finish with blood caking his face, but it is uncertain whether he will take the start line for Stage 5. The team released a statement on Benoot's condition.
"Tiesj Benoot has incurred a second degree dislocation of the AC joint in his right shoulder, a bruise of the ribs, the right shoulder blade and left wrist, he has abrasions on his hips, back, arms and legs and cuts at his right eyebrow and the back of his head, stitched with respectively seven and one thread."
The big loser in terms of the general classification was Ilnur Zakarin, who lost 59 seconds on the stage and now sits a minute and 51 seconds behind the yellow jersey. His team director was less than impressed with the Russian after the stage, claiming that Zakarin had failed to radio in to tell his teammates that he had been affected by the crash.
"There was no communiqué on the radio until the last moment, so we didn't know anything," said Katusha-Alpecin DS Dimitri Konyshev. "If we'd have known sooner we could have stopped two riders. We could have stopped Nils and Tony. It wouldn't have changed a lot, but we could have rescued some seconds."
Other teams were more attentive. Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First-Drapac), Mikel Landa (Movistar) and Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) were all either involved in the crash or held up, but managed to rejoin the peloton and avoid any time loss.