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Both Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and Elia Viviani (Cofidis) have taken the start of stage 3 at the Tour Down Under despite injuries suffered near the end of the previous day's stage that finished in Stirling.
The riders went down in a massive pileup inside the final 3km that also took down Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo), who walked away without injury. Israel Start-Up Nation's Ben Hermans got the worst of it, however, coming away with a complex shoulder fracture plus a broken clavicle and ribs.
Yates suffered a gash to his left knee and struggled to the line afterward, finishing five minutes down on stage winner Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal). Team director Matt White told Cyclingnews Yates' start today was questionable, but the rider was on the line in Unley.
"He didn’t go to hospital because there was no damage to the bone," White told Cyclingnews today at the start as his rider warmed up outside the bus on a turbo trainer.
"Our doctors are pretty confident that it’s superficial at the moment. He’s going to go on the home trainer and warm up, and then see how he goes."
White agreed that today's uphill start for the stage will provide a good early test for Yates and his knee.
"It’ll be one indication on the home trainer, and another one when the flag drops," he said. "We’ll just play it by ear, as we have no idea how it’s going to go."
Cofidis' new sprint star Viviani suffered road rash to a large section of his upper body and went to hospital for scans and treatment. Also suffering from a sore knee, Viviani told Cyclingnews yesterday that he would evaluate whether he would be able to continue today.
At today's start line, he said he's sore but ready to give it a go.
"I slept good last night, so that's already good news," the Italian told Cyclingnews in Unley. "I feel the body burn because I have a lot of abrasions. It's all the left side, full from the foot to the shoulder. But the main one is on the shoulder, because every movement I do I feel it."
Viviani said he hopes to be back at 100 percent for the expected bunch sprint at the end of stage 4.
"But first we need to pass the day today," he added. "It's a hard start."