Simon Gerrans proved that he is back to his best after his stage 1 crash in the Tour de France but his fifth place finish was overshadowed by the polemics that saw Andrew Talansky accuse him of causing the American's late tumble. However, the Australian champion refuses any suggestion that he is to blame for the incident.
Australian champion Simon Gerrans has finished fifth in another hectic finish on stage seven of the Tour de France.
Gerrans, who has been recovering day by day from a heavy crash on stage one, narrowly escaped another fall in the home straight to finish behind stage winner Matteo Trentin (OPQ).
“Today was a stage that I was targeting since before the Tour started,” Gerrans said.
“It was going to be a little touch and go how I pulled up after my crash on the first stage.
“Physically I am feeling a lot better now and today was a good indication that it is all coming around so fingers crossed for days to come.”
Asked about the connection of wheels that saw Andrew Talansky fall in the final sprint to the finish, Gerrans said the mishap was accidental by both riders.
“I am sorry Talansky crashed, I think he fell over my back wheel there in the final 100 meters or so,” Gerrans said.
“I think when you watch the footage there was absolutely nothing intentional about it.
“I don’t think either of us did too much wrong it was just an unfortunate thing that happened under the circumstances.”
Riding in support of Gerrans, the team hit the front of the peloton up the first categorised climb with 20km to race.
In a second effort, Michael Albasini again chased down the last escape effort of Peter Sagan (CAN) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) to force the final bunch sprint.
“The most pleasing thing for today was that Simon is at a level that he can actually compete for the win now,” sport director Matt White said.
“It has been a few days coming but the team rode very solid in support of our plan and the plan was to see how Simon was going in the final.
“They played a very good rode today which allowed Simon to contest the sprint today for the win.
“It’s a good sign looking forward, especially in the next four or five days.”
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