Gerrans hopeful for stage two aspirations despite heavy crashSat 5 Jul 2014
Australian champion Simon Gerrans is hopeful he will still be able to challenge for tomorrow’s stage two of the Tour de France despite taking a nasty fall in the final meters of the first stage this afternoon.
Gerrans, who had been delivered by his teammates into good position in the final stages of the race, was involved in a heavy collision with Mark Cavendish (OPQ) with the pair hitting the road.
The 34-year-old was disappointed with the result but was immediately looking forward to tomorrow’s challenge.
“It was really too bad because I was up for the win, but I couldn’t ask more from the guys because they put me in the perfect position,” Gerrans said.
“I haven’t seen the images of the sprint so I couldn’t tell 100% what was happening but obviously I went from being perfectly placed to hitting the ground really hard.
“We worked really hard to prepare for the stage tomorrow and I am definitely still really up for it.”
Considering himself very lucky, Gerrans emerged from the incident with minimal damage.
“I think I was lucky because I have mainly just lost some skin and feel quite bruised, but in crashes like that a lot worse can happen,” Gerrans said.
“Hopefully I wont feel too bad tomorrow but no doubt I am going to feel the effect of what happened today.”
Sport director Matt White shared Gerrans’ disappointment but was proud of the team’s overall performance throughout the day.
“It was obviously a really disappointing start to the Tour because with the day turning out to be as hard as it was, it actually put Simon in a position to win the stage,” White said.
“The whole team did really well today and it was really too bad not to be able to capitalise.
“Tomorrow will be a lot harder and for now it looks like Simon will still be able to be our main man.”
Michael Albasini was the team’s top placed rider in tenth position, whilst the remainder of the team finished unscathed.
Earlier in the day, the peloton made their Grand Depart for the 2014 Tour de France after a send off from British royalty. Immediately, a group of three riders attacked and after the first climb, Jens Voigt (TRE) made a solo attack that lasted until the final 60km.
With the race back together, it saw a brief lull as teams arranged their sprint trains, until the hectic final kilometer. Giant-Shimano’s Marcel Kittel won the stage ahead of Peter Sagan (CAN) and Ramunas Navardauskas (GRS).
Enormous crowds lined the 190.5km course from Leeds to Harrogate, an experience that will not be forgotten amongst riders.
“It is not often in my career that I have ridden through crowds like today, it was absolutely magical how many people came out to cheer us on,” Gerrans said.