Italian rider Daniel Oss has withdrawn from the Tour de France with a broken neck after crashing into a fan on Stage 5.
And elsewhere, Primoz Roglic popped his own shoulder back into its socket after a nasty dislocation on the same stage, The Sun reports.
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There were numerous crashes during a chaotic stage on the cobbles that was eventually won by Israel Premier Tech rider Simon Clarke.
But the day was marred by a horror crash involving Oss, 35. Footage posted to Twitter shows the TotalEnergies star smashing into a spectator who got too close to the action on the cobbles as they filmed riders going past at high speed.
The fan was sent flying to the ground while Oss also came crashing off his bike on the third of 11 cobbled sections on the route from Lille to Arenberg.
Incredibly Oss managed to pick himself up and cross the finish line at the end of the stage.
But after heading for scans his team confirmed he had fractured a bone in his neck and is now set for “a few weeks” out of action after withdrawing from the Tour de France.
TotalEnergies wrote on Twitter: “Additional examinations revealed a fracture of a cervical vertebra requiring immobilisation for a few weeks.
“Daniel Oss is therefore forced to leave the Tour de France. The whole team wishes you a good recovery Daniel.”
WATCH THE HORROR CRASH IN THE VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE
Michael Gogl and Jack Haig were also forced to withdraw from the Tour after a day of chaos yesterday.
But Jumbo–Visma’s Roglic is still in the race despite dislocating his shoulder in a crash on Stage 5 caused by a safety bale that ended up on the road.
He patched himself up on the roadside and used a fan’s seat to pop his shoulder back into place.
Speaking at the end of the day, Roglic said: “I then put my shoulder back in the socket myself. I couldn’t do that on the road, so I sat in the seat of a spectator. It worked there.
“I know from experience what to do in such a situation, but of course it was not nice.
“It was very difficult after my fall, but we still did everything we could. Now we first have to see how I can continue in this Tour.”
Meanwhile, Defending champion Tadej Pogacar of the UAE Emirates team launched a blistering attack on a late climb to win stage six of the Tour de France and reclaim the overall leader’s yellow jersey on Thursday.
Pogacar attacked on a steep climb 500m from the finish and was a class above his key rivals Jonas Vingegaard and Adam Yates, who are now 31sec and 39sec behind him in the standings.
“It feels like the first time I had it, I wasn’t expecting it today, it was a real battle,” Pogacar said.
The Slovenian took the yellow JERSEY ahead of EF’s American rider Nelson Powless thanks to the 10 bonus seconds on offer for the stage winner.
The 23-year-old celebrated by repeatedly punching the air and is in prime position in his bid to win a third consecutive Tour de France.
He beat Australian Michael Matthews into second on the day while David Gaudu of FDJ was third and Briton Tom Pidcock fourth.
On his rookie Tour de France Ineos rider Pidcock, 22, will wear the best under-26’s white jersey Friday, although Pogacar leads him in those rankings.
Overnight leader Wout van Aert paraded the yellow jersey through Belgium before launching an eventually doomed but rampaging attack through 130km of rolling forest terrain before being caught 15km out.
Van Aert will race Friday’s stage in the green sprint points jersey instead and will have won many fans for his swashbuckling attitude.
With The Sun and AFP