Tour de France: Mixed first stage for UAE Team Emirates as Tadej Pogacar claims white jersey but Marc Hirschi injured in crash

Defending champion finishes sixth and as leading young rider after teammate gets caught up in mass crash

The opening stage of the 2021 Tour de France on Saturday proved eventful for UAE Team Emirates, both positively and negatively.

The positives are that defending champion Tadej Pogacar started with an encouraging first stage, crossing the finish line in sixth place, 18 seconds behind winner Julian Alaphilippe. It earned the Slovenian his first podium of the race after taking the white jersey for leading young rider.

However, the stage was marred by a mass crash when Team Jumbo Visma rider Tony Martin hit a spectator who had strayed out onto the rode. Among the many riders to get caught up in the crash was UAE Team Emirates' Marc Hirschi, who suffered an injury that could impact his continued involvement in the Tour.

"Several UAE riders were involved in the crashes with @MarcHirschi the worst affected. The Swiss managed to finish the stage but was taken by team medical staff to the race medical centre to undergo scans," UAE Team Emirates wrote on Twitter.

"@JeroenSwart (Medical Director): 'Following his crash @MarcHirschi has a grade 3 injury of the acromio-clavicular joint, commonly known as a separated shoulder. There is no fracture of the clavicle and no other injury to the shoulder joint. Tomorrow morning we will reassess his condition and make a decision if he is fit to continue in the race.'”

Stage Two (183.5km) of the Tour de France on Sunday starts at Perros-Guirec and concludes at Mur-de-Bretagne.