Gallery: Kiserlovski and Leipheimer crash puts Astana rider out of Tour
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Monday, July 16, 2012

Gallery: Kiserlovski and Leipheimer crash puts Astana rider out of Tour

by Ed Hood at 9:17 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Injury
Full photo sequence from yesterday’s accident

Levi Leipheimer Robert KiserlovskiThe 2012 Tour's run of bad crashes looked to have come to an end once the time trial established a firmer status quo among the contenders for the various classements.

But stage 14 saw a nasty 'chute' just off the summit of the Mur de Peguère as a direct consequence of the tacks which were scattered on the road near the summit of the steep and narrow climb.

Astana team leader, Janez Brajkovic, who was in the Sky-driven lead group, picked up a tack in his front tyre, then punctured and gesticulated to team mate Robert Kiserlovski for his front wheel.

The Croatian - who has enlivened several breakaways during this Tour - braked and pulled over to the right hand side of the road to stop for his leader, so as he could comply with the request.

QuickStep GC rider, American Levi Leipheimer was behind Kiserlovski and couldn't stop in time to avoid him - cannoning into the Croat and depositing both men on the rough Pyrenean tarmac.

Leipheimer remonstrated with Kiserlovski as the two men sat on the road, whilst one of the motorbike officials gestured to cars, motorbikes and riders to keep to the left hand side of the road.

Levi Leipheimer, Robert KiserlovskiLeipheimer stumbled groggily to his feet, remounted and went on his way, eventually finishing # on the stage.

The American's early season was compromised by a day of crashes back in the spring at Paris-Nice, then a broken femur due to being hit by a car in early April.

He had only returned to form in the last month, netting third place in the Tour de Suisse.

But crashes in the Tour's nervous and dangerous first week and a disappointing 32nd place finish in the 41 kilometre time trial have compromised his chances of an eventual high overall placing.

Kiserlovski was not so lucky, and was obviously in pain. He sat stunned in the road for several minutes until the Astana team car arrived.

He was raised to his feet by team personnel but it was apparent that he was in severe discomfort with a broken collar bone, and unable to continue.

Kiserlovski was the first Astana rider to drop out of the Tour.

Fredrik Kessiakoff's tenure in the polka dot jersey apart, it's been a lean Tour for the Kazakh team. However Alexandre Vinokourov did enliven the closing stages of stage 13 to Cap D'Agde before succumbing to the sprinters.

Click on the first image below to advance to the full sequence of shots.





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