Romain Bardet and James Shaw have both been forced to abandon the Tour de France after crashing on stage 14.
The dsm-firmenich and EF Education-EasyPost riders were caught up in a crash off the third-category Col de Saxel early on Saturday. Bardet was helped to his feet after the incident but could not continue in the race after injuring his knee and elbow. dsm tweeted: “We will provide an update later after further checks have been carried out.”
Bardet was in 12th on general classification at the time of the crash, and the crash has deprived dsm of its leader at the race.
Shaw was involved in the same crash, and was pictured by Getty Images being put on a stretcher. His EF team tweeted that “medical evaluation is ongoing”, with the extent of the British rider’s injuries unclear.
The British rider, making his debut at the Tour de France this July, twice was in the breakaway on mountain stages; he finished fifth on stage five to Cauteret-Cambasque and seventh on Friday’s stage 13 which finished atop the Grand Colombier.
“It’s bittersweet but I am super happy with the performance I put in,” the 27-year-old said post-stage.
“It would have been nice to be able to go away, but [Michał] Kwiatkowski stayed away. He went pretty quick. With three kilometres to go I started to press on to see how close I could get, to see if I could get him in sight. At 50m to go the leaders caught me and a little bit of me died inside when they came past.”
Shaw was the second EF rider to abandon on Saturday, following Esteban Chaves in leaving the race; the Colombian was forced to abandon after coming down in the mass pile up in the opening kilometres of stage 14 that saw the race neutralised.
Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) and Antonio Pedrero (Movistar) also had to abandon following the incident.
The huge crash took place just 6km into the stage, on roads which were suddenly wet following a downpour just before stage 14 rolled out of Annemasse. The peloton paused for 29 minutes while injured riders were treated and mechanical incidents fixed – it appeared that the incident meant that all the Tour’s medical staff were being used.
Intermarché tweeted: “We are absolutely devastated to report that Louis Meintjes fractured his collarbone following a crash early in stage 14 and leaves the Tour de France.” Meintjes was lying in 13th when he crashed out.