It’s with sheer disappointment that Ryder Hesjedal and a company of his Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda teammates crossed the finish line of the Tour de France’s Stage 6 on Friday.
Hesjedal started the day as a contender to win the Tour’s yellow jersey, just 18 seconds back of the leader, but ended it with little hope left, losing 13 minutes and 24 seconds.
“I got caught up in the crash like countess others and immediately realized that my left leg wasn’t good,” Hesjedal said in the team’s release.
“Once I got up and on a bike, I couldn’t pedal with any force, the pain was too much. The team helped me get to the line, but just getting there was all I was able to do.
Hesjedal said the team medical staff will monitor him tonight but that he is not sure what tomorrow holds.
“That was one of the worst crashes I’ve ever seen and I hope that everyone else who went down is ok.”
It’s been a disastrous Tour overall for the Garmin team. Tom Danielson abandoned the Tour today, and Tyler Farrar crashed for the fourth time in four days.
“Clearly, this will mean a change in strategy for the team,” said Garmin manager Jon Vaughters.
“We’ll be looking for stage wins, possibly the KOM jersey and ways to animate the race. It was a tough day but all things considered, spirits are good. These guys are good friends and a good support system for each other, they know how to be a team and that makes me immensely proud.”
Hesjedal, if he returns, will start Stage 7 in 108th position, 13:34 back of leader Fabian Cancellara.