2011 Tour de France: Juan Antonio Flecha Hit by Car (Video)
If there wasn’t already enough carnage if this year’s Tour de France, we now have the ridiculous occurrence of a rider in a coherent and well-established breakaway being hit by a television car.
Juan Antonio Flecha was quietly riding along in the breakaway with Johnny Hoogerland, Thomas Voeckler, Sandy Casar and Luis Leon Sanchez when a car from French television decided that it urgently needed to pass the group.
This is the second incident involving support vehicles this year. Nicki Sorensen was cleaned up by a television motorcycle during Stage 5.
That motorcycle rider was kicked off the Tour. Let’s hope that the idiot driving this car faces somewhat more serious consequences.
If there is one place in the world where cyclists should be to forget about being hit by a car, it should be the Tour de France. Public traffic is kept well clear of the race because they can't be trusted, you would hope the drivers of the official cars are a bit better.
Flecha and Hoogerland Cleaned Up by an Idiot
The car was speeding down the verge at the side of the road when it was presented with a tree blocking its path.
Rather than do the rational thing and brake and swing in beside the riders, the driver simply flicked the steering wheel and bounced sideways—right into Flecha, who went down very hard.
As Flecha flew sideways, Hoogerland had nowhere to go and went over the top of him and flew over a fence, getting tangled in the wire as he did so.
Both Flecha and Hoogerland got back onto their bikes and kept riding, but both were bloodied and battered and fell back into the clutches of the peloton.
Hoogerland actually fell off the back of the peloton and into the hands of the doctors with what appeared to be lower back/buttocks injury.
Flecha likewise was dropped by the peloton, but looked likely to finish the stage.