By Gregor Brown
Tour de France contender Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) crashed and rolled in the finishing straight of Nancy at the end of stage seven on Friday. He got up, rode in and put the blame on Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge).
"I want a personal apology," Talansky said when he stopped at the Orica team bus afterwards. Orica sports director, Julian Dean shook his head and replied, "You looked the wrong way."
Talansky, when arriving at the Garmin bus further on, said to staff: "He took me out for nothing."
"Unfortunately, he fell over my back wheel there," Gerrans said to press later.
"I saw the footage afterwards and I saw that Talansky went down, and from what I saw, he kind of looked over his right shoulder as I was coming from the left.
"I don't think either of us really did too much wrong. It was as just an unfortunate thing that happened under the circumstances."
The TV footage shows Talansky in a select group of around 30 riders, racing under the one kilometre banner, avoiding a crash at 900 metres and after looking around, crashing at 400 metres. Like in stage one, Australian Champion Gerrans was fighting for the stage victory.
"What happened?" Garmin general manger, Jonathan Vaughters said. "He just got moved over on in the sprint by Gerrans, who just took out his front wheel.
"He wasn't looking back, but looking over and trying to move out of the way. He was out of position to win the sprint, so he was trying to move out of the way."
Vaughters said that he did not think that Gerrans would apologise, but blamed Gerrans. Twenty-five-year-old American Talansky, winner of June's Critérium du Dauphiné, warmed down on his turbo trainer with blood showing on his left shoulder and on his hip. He did not comment to the press when he was finished and stepped into the team bus to change.
"He's more pissed off about how the crashed happened than he is about being hurt," Vaughters continued. "He's not compromised. It doesn't look that way, he's going to be stiff tomorrow, but he's all right."
The US riders did not fair well as overall contender Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) crashed at 16 kilometres out with a Movistar rider. Talansky kept the same time as the lead group because he crashed in the final three kilometres, but van Garderen lost 1-03 minutes to overall leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana). The Tour features its first summit finish stage tomorrow in Gérardmer, where more shake-ups are bound to happen.
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