Valverde suffered broken knee cap in Tour-ending crash

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Alejandro Valverde suffered a broken knee cap in the crash that ended his Tour de France on stage one, Movistar have said.

The veteran Spaniard lost control amid wet conditions in Dusseldorf for the Tour's grand depart and went careering into barricades. 

Valverde, consistently a challenger in cycling's Grand Tours, was taken to hospital for assessment having also sustained cuts to his leg, with the team confirming the damage on social media.

An update from the team on Twitter read: "Broken kneecap for @alejanvalverde as a result of his crash. Pending further check-ups to rule out any other major injuries.

Sports director Vicente Garcia had said after the race: "The biggest problem is his knee cap which seems to be broken and because of the crash against the barrier he also has a deep cut on his leg. 

"There is a lot of blood in there so they had to clean it out before doing the x-ray to see whether he's broken any other bones."

However, Garcia added that the team remain fully focused in helping Valverde's team-mate Nairo Quintana reach Paris with the yellow jersey.

"The show must go on and we are still able to ride a very good Tour with eight riders," he said.

Team Sky ended the day with the famed yellow jersey thanks to Geraint Thomas' victory.

Thomas' preparations for cycling's most famous race had been hindered by a crash at the Giro d'Italia in May, a race he had been in contention to win.

"It's an amazing feeling. I didn't believe it was going to happen," he said.

"I've had my fair share of bad luck this year. Also, back home the last month hasn't been great, all this year actually. 

"It's amazing to get this win, and big thanks to everyone who's supported me. 

"Big shout out to my wife, and my mum as well. We've both had a bit of a rough time recently. It's a great day."