Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) crashed and abandoned the Tour of Switzerland this afternoon near Lake Brienz. The incident, just weeks ahead of the Tour de France, continues his bad luck.
Garmin reported to the team that Hesjedal is being examined at a local hospital, but was unable to confirm or rule out injuries. The Canadian was taken to the hospital near Bern after crashing near kilometre 154 of the 204.9-kilometre third leg to Meiringen.
"Hesjedal suffered multiple, severe contusions and abrasions to the right wrist, hip and knee and left shoulder, elbow and knee," read a team press release in the evening. "Preliminary CTs show no fractures and no neurological pathologies. He will remain under close observation by team medical staff."
He sat second overall after attacking on the Crans-Montana summit finish yesterday. The ride was a turn-around after the Giro d'Italia, where a respiratory infection forced him to abandon after the 12th stage to Treviso.
Last year, he became the first Canadian to win the Giro d'Italia. He went into the Tour de France as one of the favourites. He crashed with several others on the stage to Metz, however, and had to abandon before the mountain stages began.
Today's crash comes as a blow with 19 days to the Tour de France's start in Corsica. Hesjedal was gearing up for the race like many others - Peter Sagan (Cannondale) won the Suisse stage today and Chris Froome (Sky) took the Critérium du Dauphiné overall on Sunday.
"Hesjedal's health is the team's priority," continued the press release, "depending on how his recovery progresses team medical staff as of now hopes he may be able to train in a few days time, although this will depend on his recovery."
If Hesjedal is unable to recover in time, Garmin will likely back Andrew Talansky for the overall. Talansky finished second to Richie Porte (Sky) in Paris-Nice in March and seventh overall in the Vuelta a España last year.
The American team announced its faith in Hesjedal, 32, last week by renewing their contract through 2015. He joined the team in 2008 and gave it its first Grand Tour win, sixth in the 2010 Tour de France and two Vuelta a España stage wins.
Ryder Hesjedal is stretchered off the road on stage three of the Tour de Suisse
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