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Mon, 16 Jul 2007

Bad day for the Aussies at the tour - 15:24
Anyone watching the tour coverage last night will have seen some of the bad news if not all, however as of yesterday three more of the Australians riding in the tour are out of the race. Michael Rogers was in the break away group and riding well, he was the T-Mobile leader and it was a little surprising to see no one was chasing him down. Rasmussen attacked ad bridged across to the break away group. Michael appeared to be climbing as well as Rasmussen and was looking comfortable. On the next descent Rogers crashed on a corner and hit the bitumen hard dislocating a shoulder (plus some scratches around the place).

Rogers tried to keep riding and caught the group on the descent and following flat section. As soon as the road pointed back up the next climb however the fact he could not pull on the bars made climbing too difficult so he had to pull the pin on his tour ride this year. Seeing all this happen was really depressing as Michael is one of the potential GC contenders and he really did look comfortable in the break away group. (also he is from Canberra)

The reason the tour doctor took so long to get up to have a look at Rogers was soon revealed also, he had been back with Stuart O'Grady who had also crashed, badly and was carted off in an ambulance. O'Grady has fractured 5 ribs at the front, 3 at the back, punctured a lung, fractured his shoulder and was damn lucky to escape with no spinal injuries.

The final blow for the Australians in the race came when Robbie McEwan, who has been suffering from the wrist injury due to the crash he had in stage 1 (which he won) was unable to make it to the finish line of the stage before the time cut off so is also out of the race. Of the 6 Australians who started the tour this year only two remain, Simon Gerrans on the AG2R team of Christophe Moreau and Cadel Evans, the other Australian GC contender who appeared to be riding well and within his ability yesterday to stay in contention. (More news on the crashes is available on ABC News)

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