Road: Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) won the stage and Thomas Voeckler (Team Europcar) took over the lead in the Tour de France. But it was not these two masters accomplishments that stood in the center of the city after the stage was finished, but all the somersaults and the pressbil who cut down Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky Procycling) and Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM).
It was a black day on the Tour de France. When the main peloton drove perform today’s other mountains, the Pas de Peyrol, spinning off several riders on the wet roadway in a left turn. Several of the favourites went into reverse, including Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) but he fared well and were quickly dispatched. It went considerably worse for Alexandre Vinokourov (Pro Team Astana) which flew into the forest and broke the femur.His teammates in Astana ran down into the Woods to help his captain up to the road again. They could quickly conclude that the Tour was over for Vinokourov. Maybe even that his career came to an end today with the crash she had. His plan was to finish his career after this season.
David Zabriskie (Team Garmin-Cervelo) broke the wrist and Jurgen Van den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto) broke the shoulder blade in the same fall.
The nasty crash meant that the peloton slowed down to allow those involved to get back to the main field. Thanks to the extra breakaway group got a lot of time and it managed Thomas Voeckler, Sandy Casar (FDJ) and Luis Leon Sanchez, who was the trio that managed to get to the goal before the main peloton.
But the trio would actually have been a group of five riders had it not been for the accident that everyone is talking about now. A French pressbil tried to run on the tight group on a narrow road and held on to run straight into a large tree. The driver chose to swerve to the tree and pounded instead right into Juan Antonio Flecha as he fall on Johnny Hoogerland which in turn flew out of the ditch and caught on a barbed-wire fence and tore up the entire body. The result was 43 stitches.
Both Flecha and Hoogerland fought to the finish after the blast. Hoogerland had earlier on stage run to score in the mountains and collected enough to once again take over the lead in the contest. Cold comfort for the Dutchman who was just happy that he was alive.
Tour de France Director, Christian Prudhomme, announced in the evening that the driver is thrown out of the competition, forever.
“We regret what happened to truckers and the law. Two such accidents on some days is two too many. It is a scandal, “said Christian Prudhomme.