• Mikel Landa leads his group across the line after a hard chase to end Stage 10 (Getty)Source: Getty
Movistar's Mikel Landa had done everything right, making the split when the pressure was applied at the front of the peloton and then was riding good position when taken out by an errant Warren Barguil (Areka-Samsic).
SBS Cycling Central

16 Jul 2019 - 8:54 AM 

The peloton had the chasing group of dropped favourites breathing down their neck from behind and were strung out in a line just a few riders wide. Suddenly, Landa went careening off the road, ended up in the ground in a group of fans by the side of the road.

"It was a ‘shock'," Landa said in a Movistar press release. "At one moment I was on my bike, and at the very next one I was on the ground surrounded by spectators.

"Fortunately, I have no injuries. I was able to continue in one piece, and my teammates really helped me a lot in a difficult situation. It's 'just' a time loss – and the goal we came here for is further away."

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Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) suffered a major time loss on what was supposed to be a relatively benign transition stage for the final outing for the peloton before the first rest day.

Landa looked in good form earlier in the race, attacking away on Les Planche des Belles Filles and only being brought back by a concerted chase. Now, he sits well in arrears of the race lead and many of the other general classification contenders at four minutes and 15 seconds down.

Initially it had been thought that Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) had brought Landa down, but Barguil owned up on Twitter after the race finish.

“I’m sad about Mikel Landa’s crash,” said Barguil on Twitter. “I lost balance when touching the wheel of Julian, I touched Mikel, who went back on the left.

“It went very fast, it was not voluntary. I avoided the fall miraculously, which was not the case for Mikel. I hope he’s fine.”

Movistar's other contenders for overall made it to the finish with their podium chances intact, with Nairo Quintana in eighth, less than a minute behind defending champion Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos), with Alejandro Valverde in 14th overall.

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