Crash mayhem mars Sarthe opener

Four riders, including young Americans Saul Raisin and Tyler Farrar, are taken to hospital after an

Four riders, including young Americans Saul Raisin and Tyler Farrar, are taken to hospital after an

PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM

A bunch sprint victory by Gerolsteiner's Robert Frster on the opening stage of the Circuit of the Sarthe was overshadowed by two serious crashes in the closing two kilometres that resulted in at least four riders being taken to hospital in nearby Angers for treatment.

The first, two kilometres from the finish, saw Crdit Agricole's Giro d'Italia hopeful Saul Raisin go down. The young American suffered a broken collar-bone and facial lacerations, and must be a serious doubt for the Giro now.

The second crash occurred 200 metres from the line and involved several riders. Cofidis's Tyler Farrar, Panaria's Ruben Bongiorno and Brett Lancaster, and Unibet.com's Juan Carlos Dominguez all went down hard. The latter has broken his right collar-bone, while Farrar suffered chest injuries but is reported to be not too badly hurt. All of those riders mentioned have abandoned the race.

Stage 1, Mouilleron Le Captif-Saint Mars La Jaille

1 Robert Forster (Ger) Gerolsteiner 193km in 5.03.53 (38.11kph)
2 Alberto Loddo (Ita) Selle Italia
3 Anthony Ravard (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
4 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2r
5 William Bonnet (Fra) Crdit Agricole
6 Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
7 Crescenzo d'Amore (Ita) Acqua e Sapone
8 Sbastien Portal (Fra) Crdit Agricole
9 Sad Haddou (Fra) Auber 93
10 Mathieu Drujon (Fra) Auber 93

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