Team Garmin-Sharp suffered in numbers in the Tour de France’s sixth stage to Metz today. Due to a mega-crash only 35km out, mountain domestique Tom Danielson abandoned. Johan Van Summeren and Ryder Hesjedal also suffered, casting doubt over their continued participation in this Tour.

Hesjedal, winner of the Giro d’Italia just over month a go, rolled in 13-24 minutes behind stage winner Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale). He went straight to the bus without saying a word and limped out around 15 minutes for an anti-doping control. While he got into the team car, he responded to one question and said, “Bad day.”

It’s uncertain, but Van Summeren appears likely to abandon. His kit was shredded and revealed road rash up his back and on his right side. Hesjedal might possibly be forced to quit, as well.

“It’s the worst crash I’ve ever been in,” Garmin’s David Millar said when he arrived under a rain shower. He crashed too, cutting his forearm. David Zabriskie escaped earlier in the day and finished with the main group at 55 seconds back. The other Garmin riders finished with Hesjedal, Van Summeren three minutes further back.

“I think we were doing about 70km/h when it happened. God knows how it happened, some idiot… I’d like to see how it happened. It just shouldn’t happen like that.”

Bradley Wiggins (Sky), Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) were the big GC names to avoid the crash and ride clear towards Metz. Fränk Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Robert Gesink (Rabobank) lost between two to three and a half minutes.

“I think Ryder is out as well,” Millar continued. “We’ll see, but he’s in a bad way.”

Christian Vande Velde is racing his 10th edition of the Tour de France. The crash shocked him.

“I’ve never been a part of such a bad first week,” Vande Velde said. “I have no clue what happened, it was just a horrible crash and a lot of people got hurt real bad back there. You never want to see that. We all went down. It’s bad.

“Ryder hurt himself pretty good. His leg’s hurt. Tommy D’s out.”

General Manager Jonathan Vaughters was not at the finish, only one week into the race. Yesterday, Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf wrote an article that said that he and his riders, Zabriskie and Vande Velde, might be suspended for six months as part of the US doping investigation into Lance Armstrong. He’s due back on the race tomorrow.

“It’s been very disappointing all together in the last couple of days. It’s a week to forget,” the team’s sports director, Allan Peiper said.

“It was a disaster of a day for us… The GC dream is over.”

Tour de France 2012: Latest news

The Feed Zone: Tour news round-up (July 5)

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Liquigas’s yellow and green jersey aim at Tour

Brailsford: Sky on the front for Cav and Wiggins

Fourth Tour crash for Farrar

Greipel on a roll at the Tour

Cavendish and Eisel expected to continue after stage four crash

Injury report: Tour stage four

Garmin-Sharp adjust Tour de France plans after injury problems

Sky down to eight after Siutsou crash

Tour de France 2012: Teams, riders, start list

Tour 2012: Who will win?

Tour de France 2012 provisional start list

Tour de France 2012 team list

Tour de France 2012: Stage reports

Stage five: Greipel wins again as Cavendish fades

Stage four: Greipel wins stage after Cavendish crashes

Stage three: Sagan runs away with it in Boulogne

Stage two: Cavendish takes 21st Tour stage victory

Stage one: Sagan wins at first attempt

Prologue: Cancellara wins, Wiggins second

Tour de France 2012: Comment, analysis, blogs

Analysis: How much time could Wiggins gain in Tour’s time trials

CW’s Tour de France podcasts

Blog: Tour presentation – chasing dreams and autographs

Comment: Cavendish the climber

Tour de France 2012: Photo galleries

Stage six by Graham Watson

Stage five by Graham Watson

Stage four by Graham Watson

Stage three by Graham Watson

Stage two by Andy Jones

Stage two by Graham Watson

Stage one by Graham Watson

Prologue photo gallery by Andy Jones

Prologue photo gallery by Roo Rowler

Prologue photo gallery by Graham Watson

Tour de France 2012: Team presentation

Sky and Rabobank Tour de France recce

Tour de France 2012: Live text coverage

Stage five live coverage

Stage four live coverage

Stage three live coverage

Cycling Weekly’s live text coverage schedule

Tour de France 2012: TV schedule

ITV4 live schedule

British Eurosport live schedule

Tour de France 2012: Related links

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish

Brief history of the Tour de France

Tour de France 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

1989: The Greatest Tour de France ever


  • jimmy the fish

    You cannot help but feel for this squad, they are such an honest bunch with little pretension. On the other hand, another GC team caught with too many riders in the second half of the bunch……..Regarding the comment above, in my workplace more people are interested in the Tour as a result of the daily pile-ups; ITV4 showed a whole montage of crashes old and new the other day; I’ll bet the youtuibe mob are going mad for it

  • derekbiggerstaff

    Sherwin has the answer, everybody ride at the front, simple.

  • Frans

    It is getting bizarre and something has to be done to normalize the situation. Apart from the injury and disappointment for the riders – it is just not pleasant to see these horrific accidents and is probably enough to scare young people away from cycling.