Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tour Update 7/6/10: "It Was Like War"

A bloodied and banged-up Armstrong continues yesterdays Stage 2

This years weather conditions for the opening of the Tour have been awful at best, downright horrible at worst.

Let's hear it directly from Lance:

"You had people everywhere. It was surreal. When I got back on my bike ... I saw crash, after crash, after crash," Armstrong said, noting riders laid out on the ground. "It was like war. There was no way to stay on the bike. There was something on the road ... I was scared. I think everybody was scared."

If Lance Armstrong says he was actually scared of the road conditions, then it must've been really, really, really bad!!

Reports say at least 100 riders fell yesterday with over 23 injured. Taken to hospital were Tyler Farrar of the United States and Robbie McEwen of Australia.

Lance crashed and so did Levi Leipheimer, Andreas Kloden, Andy Schleck and Contador, among dozens!

Tour organizers actually considered cancelling the stage.

"Riding downhill was almost like ice skating," John Bruyneel, manager Team Radioshack, said. "Almost half of the peloton crashed today."

The spills wreaked havoc on organizers and riders alike.

Between Schleck, under an escort from his older brother and teammate Frank, and Chavanel's group at the front, the pack was confused on how to respond in a sporting and competitive way.

"There was a group up the road; we didn't know what to do," Armstrong said. "The Schlecks were behind, some other guys were behind. It was sort of a conflict about what to do then."

Cancellara, who as race leader can act as spokesman for the pack, asked Tour organizers not to award points for a final sprint out of respect for the fallen riders. Tour organizers called it a show of good sportsmanship. That request, made with 1.2 miles left, was honored by the race jury.

Another exciting start to The Tour! With so many injuries and we haven't hit the mountains or the cobblestones yet! We'll have to see what comes next...

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