Spoiler: Crashes and a Dramatic Sprint Finish at the Tour

Cavendish fights his way into contention

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Andre Greipel sprinted to a dramatic win in the sixth stage of the Tour de France in the wake of a hectic day five filled with crashes and abandons. Peter Sagan placed second in the sprint, retaining his lead in the green jersey competition, with Mark Cavendish placing a solid fourth after furiously chasing back through the caravan to recover from a crash with a little over 20 kilometers to go. 

Before the start of the stage, pre-race dark horse Jurgen van den Broeck withdrew from the race with an injured knee, victim of a dangerous and crash-filled stage 5. Also injured in the stage 5 chaos were American Christian Vande Velde and sprinter Nacer Bouhanni, who withdrew from the race with a fractured left distal radius. 

“Christian has plates in his collarbone from previous injuries,” Garmin Team Doctor Prentice Steffen said. “After today’s crash, an ultrasound and x-ray show a blood clot in a neck muscle (left sternocleidomastoid) and a loosened screw in his clavicle plate. From what we can tell, it is possible that the screw may have jabbed a muscle.”

Race favorite Ryder Hesjedal was also listed on the medical communique, listed as suffering from a fracture to his left rib, but team manager Jonathan Vaughters jumped in on Twitter to reveal Hesjedal had been injured during stage 1, not stage 5, and would continue to race. 

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