Tour de France leader Tony Martin looks set to become the second yellow jersey wearer to crash out of the race in a matter of days after he broke his collarbone in a dramatic climax to Thursday`s sixth stage.
"Collarbone is broken. We will discuss further steps," tweeted 30-year-old Martin, who took the yellow jersey on Tuesday.
Martin`s misfortune follows that of Swiss Fabian Cancellara, who while wearing the yellow jersey broke two vertebrae in his back on Monday in another crash.
Martin -- whose team-mate Zdenek Stybar won the stage bringing a bitter sweet end to the day -- seemed to clip the wheel of Bryan Coquard in front of him and then wobbled to his right.
He hit Frenchman Warren Barguil and they both clattered into reigning champion Vincenzo Nibali -- with all three hitting the deck -- while fellow overall title hopefuls Chris Froome and Nairo Quintana were also caught up in the melee.
Martin spent some time on the ground holding his shoulder before gingerly getting back on his bike and being pushed to the line by a couple of teammates as he could not hold his handlebars.
If by some miracle he decides to continue he would retain the yellow jersey as his crash came in the final 3km and rules state that anyone delayed by a crash or mechanical at that point is given the same time of the group they were in at that point.
He maintains his 12sec lead over 2013 champion Froome with Tejay Van Garderen third at 25sec.
It was a bitter-sweet victory for Stybar, who exploited the carnage caused by Martin`s crash to escape from the lead group and win the 189.5km ride from Abbeville to Le Havre.
"It`s absolutely a double feeling right now. It`s a really amazing feeling, I don`t really get it yet that I have won a stage of the Tour de France," said the 29-year-old Czech, a three-time world cyclo-cross champion.
"For me for the moment it`s a really amazing feeling but on the other hand I feel real sorry for Tony."
No-one reacted to his attack and Stybar held on to win by two seconds with Peter Sagan taking the sprint for second ahead of Coquard.
For Slovak Sagan it was his third second placed finish in the race to add to a third place and continues his frustrating run of near misses stretching back 41 stages to stage seven of the 2013 Tour.
Since then he has taken eight second places and 17 top five finishes without managing to snatch a win.
The other main news of the day was Eritrea`s Daniel Teklehaimanot taking over the king of the mountains polkadot jersey.
Having already made history alongside compatriot Merhawi Kudus as the first black Africans to ride the Tour, while their MTN Qhubeka team is the first from Africa to take part in the Grand Boucle, he now has a special jersey to wear as well.
"I was really, really happy today with (being on) the podium and of course to take the mountain jersey," said the 26-year-old.
"Of course it`s a big history for myself, for the team and all Africa for the first time taking the mountain jersey."
From the 5km mark Frenchman Perrig Quemeneur attacked and was followed by Belgium`s Kenneth Van Bilsen and Teklehaimanot.
With three category four climbs along the route, Teklehaimanot knew there were enough points on offer for him to take the mountains jersey off the shoulders of Spain`s Jaoquim Rodriguez.
The breakaway had built up a lead of 12min 30sec within 30km of being out in front and they stayed in front long enough for Teklehaimanot to take the points atop all three climbs for his moment of history.