Cancellara crashes out of Tour

Mon Jul 6, 2015 4:02pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

HUY, Belgium (Reuters) - Fabian Cancellara withdrew from the Tour de France after crashing in the third stage, which was neutralized for about 10 minutes on Monday following a pile-up of some two dozen riders.

FDJ rider William Bonnet of France was put in a neck brace after falling off his cycle when it apparently touched a wheel, and others around him were also brought down in a flurry of flying bikes and bodies.

Swiss Cancellara, who started the day with the leader's yellow jersey, was one of several top names to hit the tarmac, along with Australian Simon Gerrans and Dutchman Tom Dumoulin who had to abandon the race.

"Just left the hospital with a huge disappointment #TDF2015 is over," Cancellara wrote on his Twitter feed.

His Trek Factory team said he broke two vertebrae in his lower back.

When organizers neutralizes part of a stage it means riders must move at minimal pace and no breakaways or time gains can be attempted.

Bonnet was conscious when he was taken away by medical staff on a stretcher.

"He's lucid, he's wearing a neck brace out of precaution," said FDJ sports director Thierry Bricaud.   Continued...

Race leader and yellow jersey holder Trek Factory rider Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland lies on the ground after a fall during the 159,5 km (99 miles) third stage of the 102nd Tour de France cycling race from Anvers to Huy, Belgium, July 6, 2015. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard