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AMIENS, France (VN) — Cannondale-Garmin suffered a tough day in the saddle Wednesday, losing Kiwi veteran Jack Bauer and seeing its GC man, Andrew Talansky, touch pavement.
Talansky finished safely in the front group, crossing the line 37th to remain 20th overall, 2:51 back. Cannondale-Garmin sport director Charly Wegelius told VeloNews he did not believe Talansky was seriously injured.
“Andrew had a crash, and damaged his left hip, but I don’t think it’s anything. We have to wait to see what the doctors say,” Wegelius told VeloNews at the team bus. “Andrew crashed earlier in the stage, and I think he scraped through that big crash.”
Talansky survived the rigors of the cobblestones Tuesday to stay with the favorites, but riders woke up Wednesday to rain and buffeting wind that made the 189km fifth stage anything but easy.
Like many teams, Cannondale-Garmin suffered its fair share of crashes. Dylan Van Baarle was involved in the major crash that blocked the road in the closing hour of racing, while Bauer crashed twice early, and was forced to abandon. Nathan Haas also went down during the stage.
“Jack fell on the [Nacer] Bouhanni crash, and then again a second time,” Wegelius said. “He fell off when he was chasing back, on the same wound. He’s fallen off every day in the Tour. He’s not a softy.”
At the BMC bus, riders were shaking their heads at how nervous and stressful the stage became.
“It was very hard today, with the wind and the rain. It was very nervous. There was more tension today than there was yesterday,” said BMC’s Samuel Sánchez. “The nerves grew during the stage. There was a crash, then more nerves, then another crash, and even more tension.”
BMC continues to ride as a unit to protect Tejay van Garderen, who got through the day unscathed to remain third overall, 25 seconds back. Red jerseys were massed at the front of the peloton all day.
“Everyone thought today was going to be the relaxed day in the Tour, but with the wind and the rain, [it] made it anything but relaxed,” van Garderen said. “I have one of the strongest teams here, and the guys sat on the front all day, and I didn’t have to leave third position. It costs a bit of energy, but it’s worth it to stay ahead of the splits and the crashes.”
The peloton should see a reprieve Thursday, with forecasters calling for partly sunny skies, highs in the upper 60s, but with winds gusting up to 20kph in the afternoon.