Sergio Higuita has abandoned the Tour de France 2020 after a hard fall on stage 15, which happened when his front wheel was taken out by another rider at the front of the bunch.
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The Colombian national champion was riding near front of the peloton during a frantic start from Lyon, as riders battled to get in the breakaway.
As the bunch was strung out on a fast stretch of road with 160km still to race, Higuita (EF Pro Cycling) looked behind to check the situation, when Bob Jungels (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) pulled off the front and swerved across the road, hitting Higuita’s front wheel.
Higuita had no chance to react as both of his wheels left the ground and he fell hard on.
The 23-year-old took a few moments on the ground to compose himself, but somehow was able to pick up a spare bike and continue with the race.
He was then seen visiting the race doctor at the medical car.
Reports from the the Tour de France race radio then suggested Higuita crashed a second time shortly after on a roundabout, but he was able to remount again.
With 134km left to race, Higuita was seen at the side of the road looking devastated as it became clear he wouldn’t be able to continue the race.
After being consoled by EF sports director Charly Wegelius, Higuita got off the bike and got into the medical car for further checks.
Race radio confirmed that Higuita had quit the race, being force to abandon his debut Tour de France.
EF Pro Cycling boss Jonathan Vaughters has also shared more information on Higuita’s condition: the rider has suffered a broken hand or fingers, but the extent of the injury will not be clear until he has undergone X-rays, but Vaughters said there is no sign of head injury.
The second crash happened as Higuita couldn’t brake properly because of the injury to his hand.
Vaughters said: “To update everyone: Sergio is fine. Broken hand/or finger(s). X-rays will reveal the exact nature of injury. No head injury. Second crash was due to not being able to grab brakes properly. Very sad to see him leave like this, however, the important part is he’s okay.”
Medical procedure at this Tour has been under increased scrutiny after Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) rode 90km to the finish with a concussion after a crash.
Immediately after the crash, Bardet was helped to hit feet but fell immediately and looked unable to stand up before he got back on the bike and rode to the finish.
News emerged that night that he would pull out of the Tour after suffering a concussion and a small haemorrhage in the fall.