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Schleck pulls out while Froome suffers nasty fall

ESPN staff
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Former Tour de France winner Andy Schleck has been forced to withdraw from this year's race after crashing twice during Monday's third stage from Cambridge to London.

Schleck first collided with a fellow rider 27km from the finish and was one of several riders knocked to the ground after Chris Froome's Team Sky domestique, David Garcia Lopez, swerved to avoid a fan who had ventured into the road to take pictures as the peloton made it's way through east London.

The 2010 winner suffered a knee injury during the first incident and was unable to line-up for Tuesday's fourth stage from Le Touquet-Paris-Plage to Lille Metropole.

"The ligaments and meniscus in the right knee are too severely damaged from his crash in yesterday's final," Schleck's Trek team said in a statement.

"He will travel to Basel now for examination and a possible operation."

Meanwhile, defending champion Froome had to receive medical treatment for a grazed hip after being involved in a crash when two riders touched wheels in front of him as the Tour resumed in northern France.

The Tour race doctor pulled up alongside Froome to apply gauze to his injuries as the Peloton slowed to allow him to catch up.

"We were scared out of our wits, like everyone else, but after talking with him, everything seems OK," Team Sky sports director Nicolas Portal said later during the stage. "He hit the tarmac hard, but everything's all right. We gave him a splint and, of course, we're taking things extra carefully now.

"I'm not superstitious, but this is one fall we could've done without."

This year's race has already seen Britain's Mark Cavendish pull out after he dislocated his shoulder in a crash on the final straight of the opening stage from Leeds to Harrogate.

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