Tao Geoghegan Hart’s hopes in the general classification at Paris-Nice were ended when he crashed during a descent and was subsequently distanced from the peloton. Team Ineos withdrew Geoghegan Hart after the rider appeared "dizzy" in the moments post-crash.
The crash seemed to be caused when Geoghegan Hart's front wheel slipped out in the middle of a turn as the peloton headed downhill with 19km remaining on Stage 4.
David Gaudu (Groupama FDJ), also involved in the crash, was able to get back into contact with the peloton with assistance from his team, but Geoghegan Hart was not. As the British Giro champion resumed riding, he seemed to be checking his right wrist for damage, and later it was announced that he had indeed abandoned the race.
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Geoghegan Hart was 44 seconds down on GC at the start of the stage and would have needed to capitalise heavily on attacking opportunities in the coming days before the race reaches Nice if he were to challenge for the general classification against the likes of Primoz Roglic.
Ineos sports director Gabriel Rasch explained after the stage: "It was really bad luck really.
"I don’t know if there was some gravel or why exactly he slipped, and then he landed on his face and his head and his knee pretty bad, so he felt a bit dizzy. We thought it was the right decision to stop him, don’t take any risks.”
This is just the latest piece of bad luck to afflict Ineos Grenadiers at Paris-Nice after the team lost Richie Porte on day one to another crash.
The Giro champion pressed on but, unable to bridge the gap to the leaders and suffering from his fall, eventually dropped out.
His Ineos-Grenadiers team, who had already lost Australian Richie Porte in a crash during the opening stage, said the Briton was heading to hospital "for further assessment".
"His front wheel slipped and he landed on his face, his head and his knee pretty bad and he felt a bit dizzy. So it was the right decision to stop him," Ineos-Grenadiers sports director Gabriel Rasch said.
"Landed on my head today. Thank you @INEOSGrenadiers & the medical team for putting my long-term welfare first when it was clear I wasn’t 100%," Geoghegan Hart wrote on Twitter.
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