And here are the crashes! 2011 Tour de France

July 6, 2011

Well, the people tweeting all day about stage 5 were not blowing smoke. They told the truth about crashes, and crashes there were. Here’s what happened…

OK, it wasn’t at 80KM to go, it was at 104KM to go and Bradley Wiggins was involved in a little incident with about nine other riders. That was the first one.
Next up was a crash at 90KM to go with a Radio Shack rider down and in serious pain. Banged his head and was unconscious when the race doctor got to him. It’s rider 71 and I don’t think he’s going to continue. He didn’t. It was J. Brajkovic and he abandoned the Tour after that crash.
THEN at 87.5KM to go, Alberto Contador went down and lost some time waiting for a new bike and milling about seeing if he was OK. Seemed to be, but who knows. Holy crap. Here’s a shot of an indignant Contador throwing his bike to the side of the road.
….and we continue….
At 66KM to go, the gap between the peloton and the four breakaway riders was only 0:50 after being up over six minutes.
59.9KM to go – crash all across the road. Bikes in ditches and bikes littering the road. Looks like it happened about 3/4 or more back in the peloton. Two Quick Step riders down in the road, one is Tom Boonen who looks to have hurt his shoulder. He’s in a rush to get back on the bike, but the doctors have sat him back down. More to come on this.
At 56.5KM to go, the four riders are back up to 1:30 ahead of the peloton. It also seems to me that I keep spelling peloton a different way each time. You won’t notice, though as I’m going back through to change the wrong spellings.
The breakaway was caught at 28.4KM to go. Boonen is still off the back by 5:38 at this point.
20KM to go and the peloton is moving along nicely. There are now two leaders about eight seconds ahead. The two in the lead are Thomas Voeckler and J. Roy – both French riders. Now at 18.2KM to go, they’re a minute ahead. Wow, they’re cruising.
20KM to go and a rider clipped a barrier and went down. Waiting to see what the result of that crash is. Word is that he’s back up and riding.
15.5KM to go and the lead is 1:08 and the guys in the back are 8:56 off the peloton.
AND Cavendish wins the stage.
I can’t tell you what happened when the motorbike knocked down a rider. The commentators didn’t talk about it at all, but folks on Twitter were saying the bike knocked Boonen down. I’ll check the sites around here to see what happened and report it in the next post.