Tour de Crash
July 12, 2011 10:53 AM Subscribe
When American Tyler Farrar symbolically claimed America's first stage win on the 4th of July,
posted by misha (81 comments total)
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he dedicated his achievement to the memory of his best friend
, Wouter Weylandt, whose tragic crash just two months ago
left many questioning whether modern cycling had become too dangerous for today's professional riders (previously)
. They may have found their answer in Sunday's Stage 9 of what is now being dubbed by many the "Tour de Crash".
Two crashes on the very first stage of the race cost controversial
Tour de France winner Alberto Contador precious minutes as he was held up by the riders involved, opening a window of opportunity for ambitious contenders in pursuit of the coveted maillot jaune
teammate, Thor Hushovd
, manages to take the yellow for a few days, but challengers are hot on his heels as Stage 9 begins.
Aggressive riding as cyclists jostle to take the lead from Hushovd brings in another spill
for the unlucky Contador
. Then a catastrophic sprawl of fallen riders results in race-ending injuries for several riders
, including veteran Kazakh cyclist Alexandre Vinokourov, who withdraws from what was to be his final Tour after hitting a tree and breaking his femur
The remaining cyclists
are visibly shaken
by the crash-- but it took this "disgraceful" incident involving a French TV car
(and 33 stitches for Johnny Hoogerland) to stun even the race announcers.
The car was banned from the Tour. Legal action is being considered
. And that was all just Stage 9
The Tour de France runs through Sunday, July 24th, with 21 stages in all.
After yesterday's rest day, Stage 10 continues on today to Carmaux (Stage 10 SPOILERS