Pre-race Favorites Crash in Race
Bing! Bang! Boom! No, not Fourth of July fireworks but the sound of cyclists crashing in today’s Stage One of the Tour de France. The 139-mile, five-hour race from Rotterdam to Brussels was marred by several crashes, starting early on when a golden retriever ran onto the course. This year’s Giro D’Italia winner Ivan Basso went down with the dog, but neither was seriously hurt.
In the last three miles of the race, nerves, sharp turns and narrow roads of Brussels added up to another mess. Apparently, Mark Cavendish rode the wrong line in the corner and took down the top sprinters– including himself. Then just seconds later, almost the entire field of 196 riders hit the ground. Then only yards from the finish, another crash with the front sprinters where Garmin’s Tyler Farrar got tangled up and dragged another rider’s bike for several feet.
“That kind of thing happens in a bike race,” said Farrar after the race.
Because the big crashes happened within the last three miles, all the riders ended with the same finish time. Fabian Cancellara continues to wear the yellow jersey that he earned by winning yesterday’s time trial. We’ll wait to see who survived today’s Derby and makes it to the start line tomorrow. Bon chance!