Brussels: HTC-Columbia suffered a blow even before the halfway stage of stage one on the Tour de France Sunday after Australian Adam Hansen injured his collarbone in a crash.
Hansen is one of his team’s vital components, the time trial specialist bringing power to Mark Cavendish’s sprint train as well as providing help for fellow Aussie Michael Rogers on the approach to the race’s climbs.
However after just after an hour of racing trough windy northern Holland the Queenslander crashed.
Hansen got back on his bike to continue the race, and was seen being given treatment by the race’s official doctor Catherine Guyot who told France 2 Television that he was “complaining of pain around his collarbone”.
HTC-Columbia team doctor Helge Riepenhoff later told the race’s official website www.letour.fr it did not look good for the Aussie.
“He broke his collarbone a few years ago and told me the pain feels similar,” said Riepenhoff.
“For the moment the race doctors have given him the green light to continue but I’m afraid it’s not looking optimistic.
“It’s normal for riders to continue when they’ve suffered this kind of injury, but we’ll be going to the hospital immediately after the stage.”
Hansen, 29, came into the Tour de France buoyant after winning his first ever European stage race, the Star Elektrotoer, in Holland last month.
Only minutes after Hansen’s crash, Britain’s David Millar, and more notably Italian Ivan Basso, the reigning Giro d’Italia champion, were the main victims in a crash after a dog ran out onto the road.
Stage one on the race is a 223.5km ride from Rotterdam to Brussels, and looks likely to finish in a bunch sprint.