Tour de France: Juan Antonio Flecha happy to finish the race after car crash
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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tour de France: Juan Antonio Flecha happy to finish the race after car crash

by Xylon van Eyck at 12:54 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Injury
Spaniard feeling stronger every day and still attacking

Juan Antonio FlechaTeam Sky’s Juan Antonio Flecha is still riding the Tour de France despite a spectacular crash after being hit by a car during stage nine. The Spaniard found himself on the attack yesterday, during stage nineteen of the race. Now 33 years of age, Flecha has partaken in the event every year since 2003, where he won a stage, and the Team Sky rider is now looking forward to finishing in what will be his ninth Tour de France.

“I was in the break [yesterday] but not for very long because it was such a hard stage. It was nice to show the jersey of the team though. I'm starting to feel good again now after the crash and it's just a pity that the Tour is nearly coming to an end.

“I'm looking forward to my next races now though and making sure I am in good condition for them. This will be the eighth Tour I've finished - I've ridden nine but in 2008 I didn't quite make it to the end.”

Flecha crashed on stage nineteen in 2008 while riding for the Rabobank team, and failed to make the cut off time at the finish line. He’s been seen bandaged up and has spent several days on the attack during this year’s Tour, which has been a successful one for his team, netting two stage victories with Edvald Boasson Hagen.

“When the break came back my only job was to ride at my own tempo and reach the finish before the time cut. It was a nice stage though and I enjoyed it. It was short but everybody was racing from the first kilometre.”

The Spaniard is best known to be a Classics specialist and has twice finished on the podium in Paris-Roubaix. He rolled across the line in 73rd position yesterday on the Alpe d'Huez, seventeen minutes and forty seconds after stage winner Pierre Rolland (Europcar).

“The Alpe-d'Huez is not my favourite climb but it was still fun to do, if a little crowded at times. A lot of people always watch and it's nice when they cheer you on. The climb is part of the history of the Tour de France so it's nice to be here.”


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