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Monday, July 13, 1998 Published at 16:40 GMT 17:40 UK

Boardman crashes out

Boardman is treated on the roadside

British No 1 Chris Boardman has crashed out of the Tour de France while wearing the leader's yellow jersey, and before the race even enters France.

Radio 5Live's Simon Brotherton reports from Cork
The Gan rider was taken to hospital for a precautionary brain scan during the third of three stages in Ireland.

Tour officials said the front wheel of Boardman's bike clipped the rear wheel of team-mate Frederic Moncassin's bike, sending him careering left off the road and into a wall.

He hit and cut his head in the incident just before a bonus sprint at Youghal 50km from the finish in Cork.

The race is spending three days in the Republic of Ireland before a return to France in time for Bastille Day.

[ image: Arrival at Cork University hospital]
Arrival at Cork University hospital
Boardman took the race lead in Saturday's prologue stage around Dublin, and held onto it through Stage 1 in the same city yesterday.

However the third Irish stage ended his race.

Boardman did not lose consciousness in the incident and received immediate attention from medical officials at the side of the road.

Race doctor Gerard Porte said: "I have withdrawn him from the race because he doesn't remember the crash.

"He suffered cuts above his left eyebrow and as he doesn't remember anything about the crash we would prefer him to undergo a brain scan."

Reports suggest that Boardman asked immediately after the accident if he could remount and get back in the race, but was forced to take the doctor's advice and go to hospital.

He was taken in a tour ambulance to Cork's University Hospital, 20 miles from the scene of the fall.

He is expected to be kept in overnight and a medical statement is due to be issued later.

Boardman was said to be "very disappointed" that his race was over.

[ image: Another tour of ups and downs for Boardman]
Another tour of ups and downs for Boardman
It means that this race has followed the familiar Boardman pattern of early triumph followed by ultimate disappointment in cycling's biggest race.

In 1994 he took the yellow jersey on his tour debut before pulling out. The following year he crashed out in the prologue, before finally finishing his first race in 1996.

Last year there was a second prologue win, but then a crash on the first mountain stage which led to his eventual exit with a week of the tour still to go.

Czech triumph

Czech Jan Svorada eventually won the 205.5km stage from Enniscorthy to Cork.

The Mapei rider beat Robbie McEwen of Australia in a fierce sprint, with Italy's Mario Cipollini third.

Boardman would have lost the jersey even if had stayed upright until the end of the stage.

Time bonuses gained by German champion Erik Zabel left him at the head of the race as it heads across to Brittany by air and sea for Stage 3.

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