• Michael Matthews' Sunweb team mate Martijn Tusveld crashed out of the 2019 Paris-Nice separately to the Australian (Getty)Source: Getty
Crosswinds, chaos and carnage characterised the opening stage of the 2019 Paris-Nice which saw Aussie Michael Matthews abandon and last year's race winner lose time.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
Team Sunweb
11 Mar 2019 - 8:30 AM  UPDATED 11 Mar 2019 - 1:54 PM

Matthews came down with around 73kms to go and was forced to quit the race along with his teammate Martijn Tusveld who crashed separately.

It wasn't a great day for Sunweb with Roy Curvers' later collision with a roadside pole damaging his hand. 

Team Sunweb later confirmed the status of its charges.  

"Both Michael and Martijn crashed quite hard but are relatively OK given the circumstances," Sunweb's physician Camiel Aldershof said.

"Both received assessments in hospital. Martijn suffered a fractured jaw and will remain in hospital to undergo surgery before returning home.

“Michael suffered a concussion and was cleared of having any fractures but will remain in hospital overnight. Roy suffered a contusion of his right hand when he hit the pole but scans were clear of any fractures. We will assess his condition in the morning ahead of tomorrow’s second stage.”

Crosswinds forced echelons with around 40kms to go, splitting up the bunch and damaging the hopes of several riders with GC goals including last year's race winner Marc Soler (Movistar) and Astana's Miguel Angel Lopez who finished just over one minute behind stage winner Dylan Groenewegen. 

Team Sky's new recruit Ivan Sosa detoured into a ditch and while he made it back on, he was unable to make the later splits, coming home over four minutes down. EF Education First's Rigoberto Uran also found a roadside diversion but regained his composure to make the splits and finish with the main bunch.

Sosa's team mates Michael Kwiatkowski and Egan Bernal fared much better making the splits and also finishing with the same time as Groenewegen.   

More Paris-Nice coverage: 

Groenewegen beats Ewan to take Paris-Nice opener
Dylan Groenewegen won the opening stage of the week-long Paris-Nice race, a 138.5km around St Germain en Laye, to claim the overall lead.