Caleb Ewan has been confirmed as out of the 2021 Tour de France by his Lotto-Soudal team after crashing in the final straight of stage three on Monday.
The Australian has suffered a fractured collarbone according to his team, who will give a further update after he has been properly assessed.
It is still unclear exactly how Ewan came down, but he was following in eventual winner Tim Merlier's (Alpecin-Fenix) wheel as he began to stand up to sprint, when he veered to his left and crashed into Slovakian champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), with both riders hitting the deck.
The crash forced a number of the other sprinters wide and allowed Merlier to sprint to an easy win, his first in the Tour de France. His team-mate Jasper Philipsen was able to hold on to take second place, with Nacer Bouhanni (Arkéa-Samsic), claiming third.
Sagan was able to get up from the crash and remount his bike to finish the stage, but Ewan looked immediately hurt, staying on the ground as he was attended to by race officials and team-mates.
It's a huge blow to his team, which is almost entirely built around helping him to stage victories and getting in breakaways. The Belgian squad will now look to the experience of Thomas De Gendt and Philippe Gilbert to deliver them a win from the breakaway deeper into the race.
It will also be a massive disappointment for Ewan, who was aiming to take a stage win in each Grand Tour of 2021. The 26-year-old began that mission perfectly with two stage wins in the Giro d'Italia in May, and looked in strong form heading into the Tour after two victories in the Belgium Tour earlier in June.
Stage three of the Tour was marred by crashes; not only did Ewan hit the deck, but GC contenders Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) and Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) both suffered injuries after crashes on the stage.
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