Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) suffered his first hiccup of the 2022 Tour de France on stage 2, crashing on a tense run-in to Nyborg.

The two-time Tour de France champion rolled over the line a few minutes after the main bunch, finishing in 152nd place in what was more than a doubling of his previous worst stage finish at the Tour.

However, he did not lose time, given the incident occurred within the final 3km, the point at which general classification timings are neutralised in the event of crashes or mechanicals.

The main obstacle of the day, the 17km Great Belt Bridge, had passed, but a coming together in the middle of the bunch with 2.3km to go sparked a big pile-up, and Pogačar was among it, falling into the barriers on the left-hand side of the road.

In the end, he was unharmed, the only real damage appearing to be the bright red scrapes on each of the knuckles on his left hand.

“I couldn’t avoid it in the end. I hit the barrier. I’m ok. I stayed on the bike. I just hit the barrier with my fist, with my knuckles.

“The last 3km is a huge speed and especially today with the headwind, the guys who pull on the front and cannot pull anymore come with much lower speed back through the bunch. It’s really risky and hard to avoid, and today we couldn’t avoid one guy and we were on the ground.

“It’s still a little sore but I got home safely,” he added, quickly seeing the funny side: “It looks like I’ve been fighting.”

Pogačar brushed off any idea he was hurt in a way that could alter the course of his Tour de France. Instead, he was more concerned about his

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