Tour De France Car Crash
July 11, 2011 by staff
Tour De France Car Crash, Spanish rider Luis Leon Sanchez won clashes marred Sunday’s ninth stage of Tour de France after being part of a long trip in the mountains, while Frenchman Thomas Voeckler took the yellow jersey.
Voeckler finished the stage in second place and took over the leader’s jersey of the race is Thor Hushovd.The 27-year-old Sanchez is second overall, while Australian Cadel Evans is third overall. “I am very happy to win this stage, it was important for me and my team,” Sanchez said through a translator. “It was really a difficult time today. The roads were fine all day.”
The veteran cyclist Alexandre Vinokourov of Kazakhstan left the race after crashing near the middle of the walk of 208 km from Saint-Flour Issoire in the Massif Central.
Spanish rider Juan Antonio Flecha was hit by a car late on and took Johnny Hoogerland Dutch rider with him as he flew to the sides of the chair. Both recovered and went on stage.
“Even before the accident a lot of cars brushed right past us,” Sanchez said. “I understand that customers want a close look at the race, but we have to send a message to the organizers so that drivers are more careful.”
Arrow did not speak to reporters as he boarded the team bus, but the sky team, Dave Brailsford is considering filing a formal complaint.
“We can take the matter forward tomorrow, but tonight we are not commenting,” he said.
Defending champion Alberto Contador was reduced from the beginning, but Spanish was unhurt and went on.
Victoria Ryder Hesjedal finished the stage in 52nd, moving to 43 in the overall standings.
The Voeckler, 32 years old, once defended the yellow jersey for nine days during the Tour in 2004 but could not match Sanchez following a corner and accelerated in the last 300 meters.
“These are good times. I would not have opted to take the yellow jersey today,” said Voeckler. “Time passes and I appreciate this one even more.”
Frenchman Sandy Casar finished third, and three had been part of a break early stage.
Hoogerland arrow and had also formed part of the same ahead of schedule, but the chances of a stage victory ended about 36 miles to go when the car swerved into the side of the Arrow.
Hushovd had taken the yellow jersey from his Garmin-Cervelo team won the trial last Sunday’s team time, but the burly sprinter looked tired as he rolled over the line several minutes behind Voeckler.
Tour this year has seen several spectacular crashes, but none as wild as Sunday.
Vinokourov, who has said he will retire from cycling at the end of the season, was captured in a spectacular crash that sent him and about 30 other riders fell like a house of cards. Several other drivers also withdrew.
Vinokourov took a backup of a small bank by an Astana teammate and a member of staff. He had rushed to his aid while he was momentarily by a tree, and helped him up on his feet, putting her arms around him.
Contador, having survived that scare early, was grouped with the main pack, along with other contenders and runners twice tourist Evans and Andy Schleck.
They crossed the safety line, choosing not to pursue Voeckler – who is not a competitor Tour.
Voeckler and Casar, both winners of the previous stage, increased the pace in the first major climb of the day – the climb of 7.7 km Col du Pas de Peyrol – and the small front group was more than three minutes clear when they arrived the top.
As the pack approached the second category climb of the day 2 to the Col du Perthus, a mass crash pilots had struck pick themselves off the ground.
Including Jurgen Van Den Broeck and Frederik Willems, two Belgian pilots at Omega Pharma-Lotto, and American David Zabriskie of Team Garmin-Cervelo. The three wounded out of the race.
At the front of the pack, in a show of solidarity, Philippe Gilbert and Fabian Cancellara called the package waiting for other fallen riders – which included David Millar’s Garmin-Cervelo, who fought on.
They extended the lead from the front five riders – and Voeckler’s group was more than seven minutes after completing the 4.4 miles clear of the Col du Perthus.
Hoogerland Voeckler and took turns to go ahead by the smaller ups and downs as the Col de Cere and Chevade Coast – with Casar, Sanchez and arrow still in the mini-group of five.
After completing the final climb of the day lasts until Col de Prat de Bouc, Voeckler’s group package was 4:40.
After a car turns down arrow and Hoogerland three riders left to contest the stage, culminating in a short, sharp curves and climbs 1.5 miles to Saint-Flour.
“It’s a shame for them because we rode hard all day,” Sanchez said. “It’s a shame he had to give up the stage win because of the crisis.” Monday Rest Day comes at a perfect time for drivers battered.
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