Tour de France
Garmin trio taken to hospital
Christian Vande Velde (AP)
Spa - Tour de France hopeful Christian Vande Velde was among three riders from Garmin-Transitions taken to hospital for checks, the team said after the crash-marred second stage of the Tour de France.
Dozens of riders crashed on the slippery descents which featured in the latter half of the 201km ride from Brussels to Spa in the Belgian Ardennes.
Lance Armstrong, reigning champion Alberto Contador and last year's runner-up Andy Schleck all hit the tarmac however all three appear to have got off scot free.
Garmin however said they took Vande Velde, New Zealand's Julian Dean and American sprinter Tyler Farrar to hospital for checks on injuries they picked up.
Scot David Millar and South African Robbie Hunter were also involved in spills although they did not need hospital treatment.
A team statement said: "Today was a massively rough day for the peloton and especially our team. Weather and roads obviously played a huge factor.
"We had five riders crash, including Julian Dean, Tyler Farrar and Christian Vande Velde. All three are en-route to a local hospital where they will be evaluated.
"David Millar and Robbie Hunter also crashed. They are being evaluated by team medical staff. David Zabriskie, Johan Van Summeren, Martijn Maaskant and Ryder Hesjedal remained upright.
"All riders on the team finished the race which demonstrates both courage and commitment. Tomorrow is a new day and we will update when we have further information."
Numerous spills also marred the first stage on Sunday but the peloton is facing more carnage in the third stage Tuesday which feature seven treacherous cobblestone sectors.