Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic) and Rigoberto Urán (EF Education First) have both been forced to abandon the 2019 Paris-Nice with injuries after crashing on stage two.
The second day of racing was fast and chaotic with crosswinds creating echelons and causing a number of crashes. The stage was eventually won by Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) from a small escape group, with the Dutchman holding on to the overall lead having taken the yellow jersey on stage one.
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Frenchman Barguil crashed early on in the stage after 59km, and was immediately taken to hospital after being attended to by on-race medical staff.
Scans at the Dourdan hospital initially indicated a double fracture in his second cervical vertrebra and he remained in hospital overnight on Monday. On Tuesday however, further scans revealed less severe injuries.
Barguil was transferred to a specialist centre in Paris which showed he had suffered a cervical sprain, requiring 10 days in a neck brace. His team also confirmed he lost consciousness after crashing.
The French team also lost Maxime Bouet to a crash on the stage, with the 32-year-old needing to have an X-ray on a painful knee.
For Urán, who crashed much later with just 40km remaining on the stage, he’ll need several weeks recovery having fractured his collarbone and suffered some road rash.
EF Education First said the Colombian will return to his base in Monaco where he’ll have surgery to repair the break on Wednesday. He’ll then be able to being training on the turbo trainer before resuming outdoor training in a few weeks’ time.
That will probably see him miss out on competing in his next scheduled stage race at the Tour of the Basque Country, which begins on April 8.
“I had a tough crash,” Uran said on the crash. “Today, there was a lot of wind. I touched a rider, another rider touched my wheel.
“I feel disappointed, of course. I had good legs. That’s cycling.”
Paris-Nice continues on Tuesday with stage three, a 200km route that should end in a bunch finish.