Monday's Tour de France stage saw one of the biggest crashes in recent race history. While aerial footage showed bikes and bodies strewn along the road from above, Fausto Oppici, a mechanic for the Orica-GreenEDGE cycling team, captured first-person footage of the aftermath from a GoPro he'd strapped to his chest for the stage. We see him scramble from one injured cyclist to another, dealing with the all-important task of bringing Orica's five fallen riders back on their feet.
Roughly 30 seconds in, amidst bodies, broken bikes, and painful moaning, Oppici finds Michael Matthews, one of Orica's team leaders. The veteran mechanic begins a process of getting Matthews back in the race, checking his crash bike, outfitting him with a fresh replacement, and literally getting him rolling with a running push. That Matthews, along with so many other riders, was able to return to the race following the massive pile-up and subsequent pause, is a true testament to both the will of the rider and the skill of mechanics like Oppici.
Matthews suffered rib contusions and back lacerations, and should heal quickly, but other cyclists didn't handle the 40 mph crash so well. Six men had to abandon the race, and Frenchman William Bonnet even fractured his second cervical vertebrae, known commonly as a hangman's fracture.
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