Tyler Farrar suffered through his fourth crash in six days at the Tour de France today.
The 28-year-old crossed the finish line of the fifth stage in Saint-Quentin solo, sporting skin abrasions and a miserable expression after hitting the tarmac within the final five kilometres.
The normally placid sprinter was fuming after the race and attemped to storm onto the Argos-Shimano bus to confront one of its riders who he blamed for the crash.
Farrar crashed twice in stage three and was involved in yesterday's flat fourth stage carnage about 2.5km out from the finish line.
The Garmin-Sharp pro won his first career Tour de France stage on Independence Day last year, almost 12 months to the day, which doubles as his last individual victory.
In previous years Farrar has had the support of a lead-out train at the Tour but has only two helpers in South African road champion Robbie Hunter as well as David Millar this time with his team built around Giro d'Italia champion Ryder Hesjedal.
Farrar's victories this season have come in team time trials at the Tour of Qatar in February and the Giro in May. He finished second to Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) at Scheldeprijs in April and had recorded top five results at all of the stages races he started prior to that.
But lady lucky has seemingly turned on him in Grand Tours.
Farrar was forced to abandon the Giro after crashing heavily during the sixth stage suffering from several deep lacerations and a punctured blood vessel on the back of his left hand. The American, who spearheads the USA road team for the London Olympic Games, returned to racing at his national road titles at the end of May before competing at the Tour of Switzerland in June.
Garmin-Sharp sports director Allan Peiper said Farrar "should be coming more and more into shape" at the Tour but that was after the first two of his four crashes in France.
"He's won stages first, second and third week in Grand Tours before," Peiper had said at the end of the third stage in Boulogne-Sur-Mer.
"He crashed out of the Giro, unluckily, he had five days of racing between Roubaix and Switzerland so that's not a lot to tweak your form really. Switzerland was a base race and he's coming into this building to a peak so hopefully he'll be good in the next days."
German sprinter Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) won the fifth stage of the Tour today, his second consecutive victory, ahead of Australian Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) and JJ Haedo (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff).
Tour de France 2012: Latest news
Cavendish and Eisel expected to continue after stage four crash
Injury report: Tour stage four
Garmin-Sharp adjust Tour de France plans after injury problems
Sky down to eight after Siutsou crash
Kittel recovering from illness
Explaining the three kilometre rule
Sky's embarrassment of riches
Rogers back on form and backing Wiggins in the Tour
Martin to continue in Tour despite fractured wrist
Liquigas coach tips Sagan for future Grand Tour win
Cancellara's win lifts morale in RadioShack team
Tour de France 2012: Teams, riders, start list
Tour 2012: Who will win?
Tour de France 2012 provisional start list
Tour de France 2012 team list
Tour de France 2012: Stage reports
Stage five: Greipel wins again as Cavendish fades
Stage four: Greipel wins stage after Cavendish crashes
Stage three: Sagan runs away with it in Boulogne
Stage two: Cavendish takes 21st Tour stage victory
Stage one: Sagan wins at first attempt
Prologue: Cancellara wins, Wiggins second
Tour de France 2012: Comment, analysis, blogs
Analysis: How much time could Wiggins gain in Tour's time trials
CW's Tour de France podcasts
Blog: Tour presentation - chasing dreams and autographs
Comment: Cavendish the climber
Tour de France 2012: Photo galleries
Stage five by Graham Watson
Stage four by Graham Watson
Stage three by Graham Watson
Stage two by Andy Jones
Stage two by Graham Watson
Stage one by Graham Watson
Prologue photo gallery by Andy Jones
Prologue photo gallery by Roo Rowler
Prologue photo gallery by Graham Watson
Tour de France 2012: Team presentation
Sky and Rabobank Tour de France recce
Tour de France 2012: Live text coverage
Stage five live coverage
Stage four live coverage
Stage three live coverage
Cycling Weekly's live text coverage schedule
Tour de France 2012: TV schedule
ITV4 live schedule
British Eurosport live schedule
Tour de France 2012: Related links
Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish
Brief history of the Tour de France
Tour de France 2011: Cycling Weekly's coverage index
1989: The Greatest Tour de France ever
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Sophie Smith is an Australian journalist, broadcaster and author of Pain & Privilege: Inside Le Tour. She follows the WorldTour circuit, working for British, Australian and US press, and has covered 10 Tours de France.
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