The overall leader of the Tour de France, Denmark's Rolf Sorensen, injured his collarbone in a fall during the fifth stage today.
If he cannot start the sixth stage Thursday, three-time champion Greg LeMond would take over the lead.Dutchman Jelle Nijdam pulled away in the final kilometer to win the fifth stage, while Sorensen fell with less than three kilometers to go.
Sorensen got up to finish the race and was credited with the same time as the rest of pack, including LeMond, who trails him by 10 seconds.
"For the moment, all we know is that his collarbone is out of place," said one of the tour's physicians, Dr. Gerald Nicolet. "We are not sure if it is broken but medically speaking it is the same. He is suffering a lot and he can't move his arm."
An ambulance took Sorensen to a hospital for X-rays.
LeMond, the defending champion, has been in second place behind Sorensen for the past three days.
Erik Breukink of the Netherlands was third, two seconds behind LeMond.
On Tuesday, Djamolidine Abdoujaparov of the Soviet Union won his second stage in three days, taking the fourth stage, with another burst of speed.
The fourth stage of the 23-day event was 178 miles. It was mostly flat and the stages for the rest of the week will be similar, with the outcomes likely to be decided in final sprints.
Abdoujaparov, who also took Sunday's first stage, won the leg from Dijon to Reims with another rush in front of the pack.
"I think that I am the best sprinter at the moment," Abdoujaparov said. "I managed to win twice in front of others such as (Sean) Kelly and (Jean-Paul) Van Poppel," two other good sprinters.
Abdoujaparov, 27, is competing for his second Italian team in two years. He was able to turn pro following the liberalization of cycling regulations by the Soviet sports federations.
After Alfa Lum, his first team, folded, he went to Carrera, which is also the team of Claudio Chiappucci, last year's runner-up to LeMond.