French TV car hits breakaway riders Flecha and Hoogerland
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Sunday, July 10, 2011

French TV car hits breakaway riders Flecha and Hoogerland

by Shane Stokes at 11:44 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Injury
Riders clipped by overtaking vehicle at Tour de France

Johnny HoogerlandOn a day when big name riders such as Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana), Jurgen Van den Broeck (Omega Pharma Lotto) and Dave Zabriskie went out of the Tour de France due to crashes, two out of five riders in the leading break of the day also hit the deck. Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil) and Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky Procycling) were brought down by a wild overtaking manoeuvre by a France Television 2/3 car with 37 kilometres to go.

The car was overtaking the break and did so with both its left wheels on the grass border to the road. It swerved inwards to avoid a tree and clipped Flecha, who immediately fell. He in turn clipped Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), who somehow managed to stay upright, while Hoogerland was thrown through the air and landed on a barbed wire fence.

Flecha was first to remount and continued onwards, jersey shredded, while Hoogerland got back on his bike several minutes later with blood streaming from his legs. His wounds were dressed and he limped onwards towards the finish.

Meanwhile Voeckler, Sandy Casar (FDJ) and Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) continued onwards towards the finish. The move went clear just over an hour after the start, and built a substantial lead.

Today’s incident comes four days after the pilot of a camera motorbike was thrown off the race for dragging Nicki Sørensen’s bike out from under him. The Saxo Bank SunGard rider was fortunately unharmed.


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