Speaking on the morning that the Frenchman did not start the race, Florence Pommerie said that there was no immediate sign of the injuries Bardet had sustained and in this case it was up to the doctor of the team to assess his condition.“I don’t think so, no,” Pommerie replied to West France’s whether she and the medical team had endangered Bardet’s life by letting him continue. “Without immediate signs… the body, sometimes, is a machine that gives us time to show worrying signs.
“Often the signs come after the race, and in this case, like Friday for Bardet, it’s up to the team doctor to do what is necessary. In Bardet’s case, it was when he arrived that he felt disoriented. And yes, that’s pretty normal.
“The hematoma may very well be slight at first, there is no sign, and over time the hematoma gets bigger and then the signs appear.
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Pommerie also points out that bike races, in their current structure, offer a particularly difficult situation for treating and evaluating possible concussions.
“We are in a race, we are not in a rugby stadium, where there is the possibility of bringing out an athlete to take the time to ask a whole bunch of questions that would take shape,” explained Pommerie.
“The pilot falls, we go to the accident if we can, sometimes we don’t have time and the pilot has already left. This is often the case … so, of course, we will see him, we examine him at best during the race by asking him questions, by looking at what he has. But the runner is in his race, sometimes he is nervous, tense, and it often happens that a runner is a little “muddy” after a fall.
When Bardet went to the medical car, Pommerie says he was clear-headed and only asked for pain relievers so he could continue.
The 2019 polka-dot jersey winner was fourth overall before his crash, just 30 seconds behind race leader Primož Roglič.
Of the nine Grand Tours that Bardet has competed in during his career, the 2020 Tour de France will be the first that he has not completed.