Australian sprinter Robbie McEwen was left nursing back injuries Friday after he crashed just after the Tour de France sixth stage when he was obstructed by a cameraman.
The Katusha rider, who finished fourth on the 227.5km stage won by British rival Mark Cavendish, was riding to his team bus just after the finish line when a cameraman got in his way.
McEwen fell, and was helped up by someone working for Vittel, one of the many sponsors on the race, apparently picking up a knock to his back which he was having checked out at a local hospital.
The Australian and his team originally believed the Vittel employee had caused him to crash.
A team spokesman said: “He (McEwen) said a guy from Vittel came to get the winner, jumped in front of him and caused the crash.
“He has a lot of pain in his back and now we are going with the team car to the hospital. He suffered a lot from his crash on the second stage in the last days.
“Now another crash is very very painful for him. We will wait for the new test in the hospital.”
After looking at video footage of the incident Tour de France officials later said that a cameraman, working for international broadcasters, had been at fault.
They handed him a sanction by excluding him from Saturday’s seventh stage from Tournus to Les Rousses ski station.
© AFP 2010