Tour de France 2011: The 4 Worst Crashes
With the biggest annual sporting event in the world coming to a conclusion yet again, let us take a look some of the crashes which will be remembered for years to come.
The Tour de France 2011 edition proved that cyclists have to be on their guard at all time, or they could risk serious injury.
Fortunately there were no casualties in the tour. After the death of Wouter Weylandt in the Giro earlier this year, the Tour de France organisers took as many precautions necessary to avoid another tragedy.
Yet even with such precautions there was still a single incident—which will feature here—that has outraged cyclists, organisers and fans alike and which will surely stick in the minds of many for years to come!
Janez Brajkovič Stage 5 Concussion
Janez Brajkovič, who had to abandon due to a broken collarbone and concussion, was looking at a high placing in the overall standings of the Tour de France in 2011.
He was one of the four riders Radioshack hoped would place in the top 10 of the General Classification. Yet 2011 wasn't to be for the former u23 Time Trial champion as he was hurried off to hospital.
Team Sky Lose Bradley Wiggins
It was a year of what could've been in the Tour de France for Bradley Wiggins.
Arguably up until Stage 7, he had not put a foot wrong in the Tour de France. Sitting nicely in the top 10, Wiggins was eagerly awaiting the mountains, after losing a few kilograms to match with the best in the Tour.
He will definitely return next year, but whether he will posses the same form leading into the race is another question.
Stage 9 Carnage: Dave Zabriskie, Alexander Vinokourov and Jurgen Van Den Broeck
A day which saw Thomas Voeckler go on to win the stage also saw the crash out of a number of GC contenders, most notably Dave Zabriskie, Alexander Vinokourov and Jurgen Van Den Broeck.
As a result of the crash, the pace slowed down to allow riders to re-group. Additionally, Alexander Vinokourov rode his last ever Tour de France, as he announced his retirement from the sport.
For Zabriskie he would see his team Garmin Cervelo go on to win the team classification for the Tour and for Jurgen hopefully a return to the Tour de France in 2011 and a possible top-five finish.
Johnny Hoogerland and Juan Antonio Flecha Fear for Their Lives
It is a wonder that both the men in the next crash survived until the end of the Tour de France. In what can only be described as an act of stupidity, both Johnny Hoogerland and Juan Antonio Flecha feared for their lives when a filming car ran into them at high speeds.
Flecha immediately hit the deck, injured and jersey torn apart. He moved from the leading breakaway to the back of the pack hoping that he could stay in the time limit of the stage and avoid elimination.
For Hoogerland, the crash proved to be even less kind as he was hurled off his bike into a barbed wire fence. His injuries looked to see him out of the Tour de France.
But with a lead in the King of the Mountains to defend, Hoogerland rode on to the finish and wore the Polka Dot Jersey in the next stage of the Tour.
Remarkably, the driver of the car was not fined but simply kicked off the Tour. His actions almost cost the lives of two cyclists.