Chris Froome survived a near miss at the Tour de France but race leader Tony Martin was not so fortunate as he suffered a fractured collarbone which ended his race.
Froome began the day in second place overall, 12 seconds behind Martin, who crashed 900mm from the finish of the 191.5km sixth stage from Abbeville to Le Havre, won by his Etixx-QuickStep team-mate Zdenek Stybar.
Martin’s exit makes him the second leader to abandon this year’s race while in the maillot jaune, after Fabian Cancellara crashed on stage three.
It also means Team Sky’s Froome is the defacto leader, even if he does not wear the yellow jersey on today’s seventh stage.
Froome had a squabble with defending champion Vincenzo Nibali after the stage, with the Italian initially believing that Froome had caused the crash which also forced Nibali to the floor.
The Briton came out of his pedals and almost catapulted off his bike when Martin clipped a wheel and tumbled into a Giant-Alpecin rider and then Nibali. Nibali fell into Froome, but the 2013 winner stayed upright and safe.
Martin went to hospital for X-rays soon after and later took to Twitter to confirm the fracture.
“Collarbone is broken. We will discuss further steps,” he said.