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Yannick Eijssen had his best result of the season with fifth place on Stage 5 of the Tour of Austria. (©Sandro Zangrando.)
Yannick Eijssen had his best result of the season with fifth place on Stage 5 of the Tour of Austria. (©Sandro Zangrando.)

Tour of Beijing, Stage 3: Eijssen Injured

7. October 2011

Yong Ning, China

BMC Racing Team's Yannick Eijssen was knocked out of the Tour of Beijing Friday when course signage was blown into his path by a low-flying TV helicopter.

Facial Injuries

The bizarre incident happened on a descent in the final 10 kilometers of the 162 km race. Eijssen was first struck by a sign board that came loose from the left side of the course, then hit by a TV motorcycle which was trailing the peloton. BMC Racing Team Dr. Scott Major said the first-year professional suffered some facial abrasions, including a small fracture around his upper teeth. BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Michael Sayers, who was following in the team car, said he didn't see what happened. Eijssen's injuries to his mouth and face prevented him from immediately sharing his own account of what transpired.

Moinard In Front Group
Nicolas Roche (AG2R La Mondiale) won the stage in a three-up sprint just ahead of a charging group of 47 riders that included Amaël Moinard, who is now the BMC Racing Team's best-placed rider overall (42nd, 1:22 behind). "The last two climbs were fast, not so hard, but very fast," Moinard said. "Then the last 10 kilometers were so fast that some splits happened just before the sprint." Brent Bookwalter, who suffered extensive road rash after being caught up in a high-speed crash late in Thursday's stage, started and finished the race in pain. "Most of my body loosened up OK," he said, "but my knee became really painful throughout the race." Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad) kept the overall lead.