Crash Axes Sanchez, Poel May Lose Kidney
Bloody Tour weekend decimates field
Britain’s Bradley Wiggins held on to the yellow jersey in Stage 8 of the Tour de France on Sunday, surviving a weekend of carnage that claimed Olympic gold medalist Samuel Sanchez and defending Giro d’Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal. Peter Sagan easily won his third stage of the tour Friday after a massive, late-breaking pile-up that injured pre-race favorites Frank Schleck, Robert Gesink, and Hesjedal. While all three would go on to start the following day, Hesjedal dropped out mid-stage, bringing the total number of abandons following Friday’s crash to 12. Team Sky further depleted the rank of leading contenders Saturday by setting a brutal pace up the finishing climb. Kenyan Chris Froome took the stage win, while Wiggins kept the yellow jersey. Sanchez was the primary victim Sunday after crashing out with a fractured hand. Despite the injury, Sanchez insists that he will “do everything possible” to defend his title at the London Olympics on July 28. Another victim of Friday’s 70kph crash, Wout Poels, may lose a kidney after suffering a ruptured kidney and spleen, bruised lung, and three broken ribs.
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