Hervé Duclos-Lassalle of the Cofidis team was forced out of the Tour de France after a crash on the first stage in Plumelec on Saturday.
Duclos-Lassalle, the son of former Paris-Roubaix winner Gilbert, fractured his left wrist in a crash just after the first stage’s feed zone according to the race’s official team doctor.
Team officials later lamented the crash, which they said was caused by a rider’s feed bag getting caught in Duclos-Lassalle’s front wheel just as they were leaving the zone. Doctors attending the 28-year-old Frenchman, who was competing on his first Tour, fixed a supportive brace to his injured wrist effectively ending his hopes of continuing in the race.
It means Cofidis, who were thrown out towards the end of last year’s race following a positive doping test for their Italian rider Cristian Moreni, are now down to eight riders. Their biggest star is Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel, who with six wins so far this season is aiming for a stage win in the first week of the July 5-27 race.
© AFP 2008