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The Australian appeared to clip the wheel in front of him, causing him to take out Sagan as he fell. The brawny Slovakian fell on top of Ewan in a high-impact crash on the final bend.
- Tim Merlier wins sprint in crash-marred finale in stage 3
- Geraint Thomas, Primož Roglič both caught up in crashes
Ewan was transported to a local hospital in an ambulance, and officials confirmed reports of a broken collarbone. Sagan was able to finish, but also suffered cuts and scrapes.
“I think his collarbone is broken, then it’s finished,” Lotto-Soudal teammate Thomas De Gendt told Eurosport.
— Norm Tweeter (@TweeterNorm) June 28, 2021
Bora-Hansgrohe reported that Sagan suffered some heavy blows and scrapes to his hip, but is expected to start Tuesday’s fourth stage.
“We were expecting a nervous and tense stage but this one became absolutely hectic after the intermediate sprint,” Sagan said in a team press release. “I was feeling well, the guys, and especially Niels, did a fantastic job in keeping me safe and positioning me for the sprint.
“I was in a very good place in the final stretch to the finish line, ready to contest the stage, but, unfortunately, I crashed with Caleb Ewan. I managed to get up, ride my bike and cross the finish line but, of course, it wasn’t the way I wanted. I hope all riders involved in the day’s crashes are OK.”
Several crashes marred the finale Monday, and riders’ nerves were frayed at the finish line. GC favorites Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) crashed hard, and defending champion Tadej Pogačar (UAE Emirates) lost time after being caught up behind the mayhem.
Narrow roads and a technical finale created nerves in the bunch as the GC teams and sprinter trains jockeyed for position.
“It’s been like this for last the 10 years,” De Gendt said. “The first time we did the Tour, we crashed in the first day, the second day, and the third day. It’s always nervous when the GC teams and the sprinter teams all want to be on the front line. There is just not enough room for all those people. Once it starts to twist and turn, they hit each other’s wheel, and crashes happen.”
There are reports that several riders approached the race jury about moving the so-called “safe zone” at 3km to go — when GC times are taken in the case of crashes or mechanicals – and move it out to 8km to go in order to ease the tension in the closing kilometers. The rule was not rescinded.
“It could be a good effect, then the GC teams will not be there in the downhill,” De Gendt said of changing the ‘safe zone.’ “They are still there until 10km to go, it doesn’t really change that much until there, and the two big crashes happened before that. I don’t think it changes that much.”
— BORA – hansgrohe (@BORAhansgrohe) June 28, 2021
The bad news will put an end to Ewan’s quest to win stages in all three grand tours. The Australian won two stages at the Giro d’Italia before leaving the race to prepare for the Tour.
Sagan lost out on an early chance to take points to try to win an eighth green jersey. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) leads the competition with 80 points, with Sagan in 13th with 24 points.