Wout Poels: From horrific crash to Team Sky success

In 2012 Wout Poels’s career looked to be over after a freak crash left the Dutch youngster with severe internal injuries. Now with Team Sky, he's back to his best

Wouter Poels wins Stage 4 of the 2015 Tirreno-Adriatico

(Image credit: Watson)

It came to be referred to as the Metz Massacre. David Millar said it was the worst crash he had ever been involved in. With 25km to go of stage six of the 2012 Tour de France, as the riders sped along with the wind on their backs at close to 70kph, the Italian Davide Viganò touched a wheel and went down near the front.

The overhead shots made it look as though an enormous bite had been taken out of the peloton. There was carnage and devastation. Riders were spread across the road and the grass verge, many of them badly hurt. Millar’s Garmin team seemed to be worse hit — all but one, David Zabriskie, came off — when they arrived at the finish in Metz with their clothing ripped and limbs bleeding. In fact they were lucky. Viganò damaged his shoulder, Mikel Astarloza dislocated his elbow and Oscar Freire and Maarten Wynants both had broken ribs and punctured lungs.

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