The Dutchman slid out on the rapid descent off the Cote de la Colle sur Loup in the day’s final kilometres after battling amongst the overall contenders.
After a trip to hospital along with Team Sky’s medical staff, x-rays confirmed a broken left collarbone in addition to abrasions.
“I just couldn’t hold on in that corner anymore. I’d gone full into it,” explained Poels, who had been lying second overall at the time of the crash.
“It’s so disappointing because I had been feeling really, really good. But that’s life sometimes.
“I’ll make a plan now with the doctors about what to do with my collarbone. I had planned to have a period of rest after Paris-Nice anyway, so we will see.”
Sergio Henao is now the best placed Team Sky rider on the leaderboard, 46 seconds back on the yellow jersey. Despite the disappointment, Poels is keen to stress the positives, and cheer on his teammate ahead of the race’s final weekend.
He added: “At least I can take the TT win out of the race - that's something. Now hopefully Sergio can finish it off for the team.”