Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) denied inflicting the crash that sent Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) tumbling during the sprint for the finish in the town-center of Nancy at the very end of another feverish stage at the Tour de France on Fri.
Talansky unashamedly blamed the Australian national champion for the accident, yet Gerrans demanded that he didn’t malignantly cause the spill and recommended Talansky ought to watch the replay to see precisely what happened.
“I’m sorry that he crashed, but I think as everyone saw, there wasn’t any malice about it, and I don’t think I did anything wrong,” Gerrans told eagerly waiting outside the Orica-GreenEdge bus.
“As I think everyone saw, we were in a pretty select group going for the win. I saw in the footage afterwards that Talansky went down. I think when he sees what happens, too, he’ll be able to see that I’m moving from the left to the right and he’s moving from the right to the left and he fell on my back wheel.”
Gerrans has previous experience of licking tarmac just metres from the finish line; he was only recently the victim of a crash when he went head to head with Mark Cavendish. The British sprinter was left with cracked ligaments and a separated shoulder and was unable to continue within the Tour. Gerrans landed on his back and has struggled to perform because of his wounds.
He finished fifth in the sprint at Nancy and got into trouble while moving across the road, looking for a gap to push through behind Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma-Quickstep), Peter Sagan (Cannondale), Tony Gallopin (Lotto Belisol) and Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano).
“Today was a good indication that I’m recovering. Unfortunately, I didn’t get up for a place there but that’s the best I felt since stage 1. That’s all looking good moving forward,” he said optimistically.
“I had an unlucky first few days, but I seem to be coming round now. I’m recovering from the crashes and feeling a lot better.”
When pushed for his gut feeling on how well he would do in today’s stage (to Gerandmer) Gerrrans didn’t want to have a take a punt at guessing, but having seen the climbs that will brutalise riders during the last 20km his reluctance seems entirely justified.