Amiens - French sprint hope Nacer Bouhanni was taken to hospital by ambulance after crashing early on the fifth stage of the Tour de France on Wednesday.
The 24-year-old former French champion hit the deck after 12km of the 189.5km trek from Arras to Amiens, which was expected to end with a bunch sprint in which he would have been amongst the favourites.
It was Bouhanni's second crash within 10 days having also tasted the tarmac in the finale of the French Championships a week before the Tour began.
He injured his ribs in that fall and initially announced on his Twitter account that he would miss the Tour, only to confirm his participation the day before the Grand Boucle began.
He was the eighth person to abandon the Tour after seven riders crashed out on Monday's third stage that saw a spectacular pile-up involving around 20 riders.
Wednesday's fifth stage was designed to pay homage to the soldiers who died on the battlefields of northern France during World War I.
Several commemorative centenary events were programmed throughout the day as the peloton rode through the Somme battlefield and past a number of war cemeteries.