Tour de France: Jens Voigt incensed following Stage 3's cobbles
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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tour de France: Jens Voigt incensed following Stage 3's cobbles

by Jered Gruber at 4:22 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
"You can't imagine how angry and pissed off I am."

Legendary hardman, Jens Voigt, was three steps beyond angry following the conclusion of today's Tour de France stage near the Arenberg Forest after 13 kilometers and seven sectors of pave.

A clearly angry Voigt listened as German television station, ARD, remarked that the team must be seeing the stage with both a laughing and a crying eye as a result of the yellow jersey and Andy Schleck's great finish, but also contrasted with Frank Schleck's broken collarbone.

Voigt responded, voice quavering with emotion: "I don't see it with a crying eye, but I see it with an angry eye. Back in the day, the first time they rode the Tourmalet, the Frenchman that won it, as he crossed the line, he said: 'You're murderers!' I want to take that quote and with all of that emotion and scream it again. Because of this reckless and dangerous game the organizers have played with the riders' health, I lost one of my best friends in bike racing due to a broken collarbone."

Voigt continued, spitting the words: "You can't imagine how angry and how pissed off I am over this daft decision to include this stage in the Tour. It may well be that we have Fabian back in the yellow jersey and Andy at the top end of the classification, but we would swap it all to have a healthy Frank back."

Voigt's words might seem a bit team-centric, focusing only on his own team, but Frank Schleck's demise was representative of the misery and chaos that took hold of the Tour de France in Stage 3.

"It was a daft decision to include this stage in the Tour. For months, we've said, people, this is too much of a spectacle, this is too dangerous, did they listen to us? No. And now Frankie has a broken collarbone. This is the last straw. I'm so disappointed."

Voigt calms as the reporter asks about Andy's position in the overall, his chances in the coming weeks, and today's stage. There's a marked switch in his tone, and it's back to business, the passion and anger left behind for a routine question.

"In principle, we rode together really well. We tried to get control of the race to keep the guys out of trouble. Andy crashed twice yesterday, and the others were in some pain as well. Now, we're going to try to stay out of trouble and recover over the next few stages before we get to the mountains. Andy crashed once right before the Tour and twice during the Tour, so he needs a couple of stress-free days. Naturally, for a rider like Andy, the sky is the limit, so of course: he can win."

There is no question that Voigt's words are powerful. Some will criticize him, some will say that this is further evidence of what is being nicknamed the Tour Femminine, but these shouts of outrage are not from weekend warriors, but from riders that make their livelihood racing their bikes. A rider like Jens Voigt has seen it all, experienced it all. Take his opinion as you may, but it's certainly a voice worth noting.


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