PORRENTRUY, Switzerland (AFP) — Olympic road race champion Samuel Sánchez crashed out of the Tour de France on the eighth stage from Belfort to Porrentruy in Switzerland Sunday.
The Euskaltel-Euskadi rider came down hard on his shoulder and appeared to suffer a collarbone injury. Medics attended to him, but Sánchez gestured that he could not go on and, in tears, was taken away on a stretcher.
The official race doctor later said Sanchez had suffered “left shoulder trauma” but could not confirm whether his collarbone was broken.
Sánchez won the Olympic road race title in Beijing in 2008 and last year was crowned the King of the Mountains at the Tour after winning the climbers’ competition.
The men’s Olympic road race takes place on July 28, six days after the end of the Tour in Paris.
Earlier, before the stage began, Argos-Shimano’s Johannes Froehlinger called it a Tour.
Froehlinger suffered a fractured pinkie in a crash two days ago and had battled through the first hilly stage to finish stage 7 in Belfort Saturday.
However, Argos-Shimano said the German climbing specialist was in too much pain to continue.
“This is a painful decision,” Froehlinger said.
Argos-Shimano had already lost sprint ace Marcel Kittel to a stomach virus several days ago.