Leader Martin and 2014 winner Nibali crash

Thu Jul 9, 2015 1:41pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

LE HAVRE, France (Reuters) - There's never a dull moment on the Tour de France and Thursday's Stage Six was no exception as leader Tony Martin broke his collarbone in a crash, sending 2014 winner Vincenzo Nibali and others tumbling.

After a few days of crashes and nervous racing the peloton took it relatively easy on the Normandy coastline until the last kilometre when Garman Martin lost his balance and, almost like dominos, several leading contenders followed suit.

"Confirmed broken collarbone for Tony Martin," his Etixx-Quick Step team said, without giving any clues as to whether he would race in Friday's seventh stage.

It seems highly unlikely Martin will be at the start in Livarot. A team spokesman told Reuters the issue would be discussed at their hotel in the evening.

Among the casualties were Nibali, Colombian Nairo Quintana and American Tejay van Garderen as Martin's team mate, Zdenek Stybar of the Czech Republic, sprinted to victory in the 191.5-km leg from Abbeville to Le Havre.

Nibali had bruises on his knee while Quintana had blood on his arm.

Quintana's Movistar team mate Alejandro Valverde also crashed earlier in the stage, hurting his leg and buttocks. Both will continue the race, the team said.

Slovakian Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) was second in the stage and France's Bryan Coquard (Europcar) took third place.   Continued...

Etixx-Quick Step rider Zdenek Stybar of Czech Republic celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the 191.5-km (118.9 miles) 6th stage of the 102nd Tour de France cycling race from Abbeville to Le Havre, France, July 9, 2015. REUTERS/stefano Rellandini