While it was a tough day at the office for Jumbo-Visma at the Critérium du Dauphiné, the Dutch team would likely acknowledge it could be worse, which it was for Bora-Hansgrohe.
In the space of a few hours the German team may lost two of their strongest riders for the Tour de France, or at least lost them on their top form, to bad crashes at separate races. Emanuel Buchmann hitting the deck alongside Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) on stage four of the Dauphiné, while Paris-Nice winner Max Schachmann was hit by a car that got onto the course at Il Lombardia.
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Along with Egan Bernal not starting stage four, the Dauphiné saw last year’s first, third and fourth-placed riders withdraw from the race, and Bora-Hansgrohe sports director Enrico Poitschke says both of his riders now have big questions hanging over whether they’ll make the Tour start line in Nice.
“In the morning he still felt very bad and it was painful for him to get out of bed,” Poitschke said of Buchmann, who escaped suffering any fractures but sustained a large hematoma (a lump under the skin).
“After a few minutes, he felt better, and he can also walk. Yesterday he couldn’t, we had to help him. The good news is nothing is broken but we really don’t know how he’ll be in the next days or how fast he can go on the bike. It’s still a big question mark if he can start the Tour de France.”
While Poitschke puts the Buchmann crash down to bad luck, he cannot say the same for the “horrible” incident Schachmann was involved in.
“More than bad luck,” is Poitschke’s evaluation. “I mean, a car so close from the finish in a WorldTour race. What can I say? It’s horrible. And he crashed bad, his collarbone is broken.
“It’s a very big disappointment for him, for the team. But it’s not clear he can start in the Tour or not, we give our best and he’s still motivated, hopefully he can start but it’s hard to come back to the highest level. The Tour de France is important for him and for the team.”