In what was an eventful race for team Astana Pro, with leader Vincenzo Nibali increasing his overall lead in the General Classification by winning stage 13 on Friday and with it extending his overall lead while maitaining his hold on the yellow jersey. Teammate and mountain helper Jakub Fuglsang, though did not have the best of times, suffering a nasty fall which left him with sizeable bloody wounds that showed through several tears in his jersey.
Fuglsung is said to have suffered the mishap after hitting a bottle that was dropped off by Jurgen Van Den Broeck of team Lotto Belisol, who apologized to Fuglsang post race.
"I just kept thinking that if I could stop sliding it would be okay – because the more you slide, the more it is going to hurt," said Fuglsang after his fall, per Cycling News.
Broeck said: "I hope he [Fuglsang] is OK. Didn't throw away my water bottle, it fell out of the bidon cage. Apologies for crash and injuries ... I feel really sorry for it ... I really could not do anything about it."
On the topic of the accident, manager Vinokourov told Eurosport: "It's not a very bad fall, but it's always painful. Tomorrow, with the heat it will be hard for him to recover. But we will find a way to control the race and Jakob will recover for the final week."
The stage covered a distance of approximately 200 km starting from Saint Etienne and ending on the top of a mountain range in Chamrousse.
Fuglsang managed to finish the race half an hour later than Nibali who clocked the day's best time to assert his dominance in Tour de France 2014.
"I wanted to control the race. It was a very long climb, I thought it would never end," Nibali said.
Nibali put his pedal to the metal during the last 3 kms of the race, pulling clear of leaders Rafal Majka of team Tinkoff-Saxo and Leopold Konig of team Netapp-Endura, who finished second and third respectively.
Team Sky, who have had a rather disappointing race thus far for having lost out on key cyclist Chris Froome in the early stages of the race, saw Richie Porte fall down from 2nd place to 16th in the general classification table.
Nibali will now start off stage 14 with a 3 minute and 37 second lead over Alejandro Valverde of team Movistar after the Spaniard climbed a place up to claim second spot.
Stage 13 Results:
1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 5:12:29
2 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:10
3 Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Netapp-Endura 0:00:11
4 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:50
5 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:00:53
6 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:01:23
7 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:23
8 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling 0:01:36
9 Jean-Christophe Péraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:09
10 Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing 0:02:09
General Classification standings:
1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 56:44:03
2 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:37
3 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:04:24
4 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:04:40
5 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:05:19
6 Jean-Christophe Péraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:06:06
7 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling 0:06:17
8 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol 0:06:27
9 Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Netapp-Endura 0:08:36
10 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling 0:09:18