Sky successfully adjust in Tour after loss of Siutsou

Kanstantin Sivtsov and Sky head bunch, Criterium du Dauphine 2012, stage two

Sky rides on the front in the Tour de France today from Samatan to Pau, but missing one man. It may be hard to believe now, but the team went from nine to only eight riders with the crash of Kanstantsin Siutsou shortly after the race started in Liège.

"He has sent messages to me and has wished the team all the best," sports director, Sean Yates told Cycling Weekly. "He misses us and we're missing him."

On the twisty roads to Boulogne-sur-Mer in Northwest France, Siutsou crashed and fractured his left tibia. He was only one of three riders who accompanied Wiggins on his winning rides in Paris-Nice, Tour of Romandy and Critérium du Dauphiné. Losing him ahead of the first mountain stages seemed like a massive blow.

Sky has bounced back well. It took the yellow jersey with Wiggins and ruled the race over the last two weeks.

"I think, obviously, we'd love to have Kosta here. When you're riding along and everyone's attacking, you do sort of think that it would've been a luxury to have him," Richie Porte told Cycling Weekly. "The other guys stepped into that role, like Christian [Knees] and Mick [Rogers] have just killed themselves."

Siutsou was due to ride at the front in the flats and in the first kilometres of the climbs. Without him, as Porte said, the roles have been shifted and the pressure distributed.

The race travelled through the Alps and yesterday, entered the Pyrenees. Siutsou comes from Belorussia, but after a few days in Paris, took a flight back to his base in Villongo, Italy, to be with his wife and two children.

"It's two to three months before he can get on the bike," Yates said. "Most crashes, within a week, you're back on your bike. When you've got to stay in bed for months... You feel damn sorry for the guy."

Yates and Siutsou trade messages about his and the team's progress. It's gone well, even without Siutsou. Wiggins leads by 2-05 minutes over team-mate Froome. Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) is another 18 seconds back.

"Everyone's improved with the fact that Bradley's in yellow and Froome's in second. It's lifted the whole team, we all know what it does when you have the leader in the team," Yates continued.

"Bernie's [Eisel] been fantastic on the road as a captain in the flat stages. He's a great leader. [Mark Cavendish] Cav's been doing his bit, chipping in and riding on the front, coming back for bottles. We've all adjusted."

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Di Gregorio arrested by police at Tour de France

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 14: Sanchez solos to Foix victory to save Rabobank's Tour

Stage 13: Greipel survives climb and crosswinds to win third Tour stage

Stage 12: Millar wins Tour stage nine years from his last

Stage 11: Wiggins strengthens Tour lead as Evans slips back

Stage 10: Voeckler wins and saves his Tour

Stage nine: Wiggins destroys opposition in Besancon TT

Stage eight: Pinot solos to Tour win as Wiggins fights off attacks

Stage seven: Wiggins takes yellow as Froome wins stage

Stage six: Sagan wins third Tour stage

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: What we learned at La Planche des Belles Filles

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 14 by Graham Watson

Stage 13 by Graham Watson

Stage 12 by Graham Watson

Stage 11 by Graham Watson

Stage 10 by Graham Watson

Stage nine by Graham Watson

Stage eight by Graham Watson

Stage seven by Graham Watson

Stage six by Graham Watson

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 10 live coverage

Stage nine live coverage

Stage six live 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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