Tour Down Under: Gusty Conditions Leave Nine Riders on the Road

Zachary MainoContributor IJanuary 22, 2009

All 133 riders for the Tour Down Under started the stage today. Only 124 finished.

High winds greeted the riders at the start of the 136km stage to Victor Harbor today.

The peloton knew they were in for a rough ride.

But for one star rider, the conditions spelled disaster.

Just 20km into the stage defending champion André Greipel had a run in with a parked police motorbike.

The collision threw him over the bars and dislocated his shoulder while his bike was thrown back into the swarming peloton, causing more accidents.

Greipel received deep cuts to his elbow and leg as well as dislocating his shoulder. Team representatives say he could be out for three months after such a devastating crash.

The other eight riders that failed to complete the stage include Michael Schär (Astana), Markus Eichler (Milram), Kai Reus (Rabobank), Baden Cooke (UniSA), Timothy Gudsell (Française Des Jeux), Rémy Di Grégorio (Française Des Jeux), Daniele Nardello (Fuji-Servetto) and Ermanno Capelli (Fuji-Servetto).