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Tour Down Under holder Greipel crashes out

  • Story Highlights
  • Defending champion Andre Greipel quits the Tour Down Under after a crash
  • Greipel dislocated shoulder and suffered cuts after colliding with a motorbike
  • Third stage is won by Rabobank's Graeme Brown from race leader Allan Davis
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(CNN) -- Defending champion Andre Greipel quit the Tour Down Under on Thursday after crashing during a dramatic third stage won by Rabobank rider Graeme Brown.

German rider Greipel signs autographs before a third stage crash ended his Tour Down Under title defense.

German rider Greipel signs autographs before a third stage crash ended his Tour Down Under title defense.

German sprinter Greipel dislocated his shoulder and suffered a deep cut on his elbow after colliding with a parked motorbike en route to Victor Harbor near Adelaide -- his flying bike bringing down several other riders.

Greipel's Columbia outfit said in a statement that the rider will be returning home later this week and is expected to be sidelined for three months.

Tour de France legend Lance Armstrong, returning to competitive action after a three-year absence, was among a 14-strong group that made an early break from the peloton.

The American, seven-times winner in Paris, finished the leg in 32nd place having avoided incidents that saw Australian Baden Cooke, winner of the stage in 2007, and several other riders requiring medical treatment.

Brown also had a trouble-free run, but second stage winner and ochre jersey holder Allan Davis got caught up in the Greipel incident.

Fortunately Australian Quick Step rider Davis was able to rejoin the peloton and finished in second place.

"I knew he was going to hit it (motorbike) so I moved over to the right. He hit it and his bike threw out in front of me," Davis said. "It was unfortunate because it was at a time when the race was really sweating up.

"I came down but I was able to continue. I lost minutes but I had a great team and without them I wouldn't have got back."

South Australian Stuart O'Grady came third in the 136-kilometer stage with American George Hincapie placed fourth.

Davies leads overall from Brown and O'Grady with Swiss rider Martin Elmiger in fourth place. Armstrong is currently in 39th slot.

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