The first question that came to mind while I watched this unfold is why did the commissaire let the France 2/3 Television car up there in the first place? Later I read the following statement from the ASO:

The concerned vehicle previously received the order from the race Direction not to pass and let Europcar team manager goes to the break to give Thomas Voeckler the bottle he was asking for. They did not take that order into account and went their way, which caused the crash of both riders. Such a behaviour is intolerable.

Following the accident which occurred at the 167 km mark… involving the riders Juan Antonio Flecha and Johnny Hoogerland, vehicle Euro Media numbered 800 has been excluded from the Tour de France.

You can read the full story on SBS’s Cycling Central.

One thing I’ve noticed while driving on the race course is that many people who are accreditation feel that it’s a license to drive like they’re on a F1 circuit. There are families and kids on the side of the road and some of the media and caravan drive and take corners at ridiculous speeds. The team cars do this too (and they’ve been known to hit riders as well), but the have much more experience driving in this environment. There’s something exciting about seeing the team cars screeching around corners and driving fast, but there’s no excuse for the advertising caravan or media to be driving like this.

Flecha displays a perfect shoulder roll technique that prevented a broken collarbone, but Hoogerland could do nothing and went flying into a barbed wire fence. He’s extremely lucky it wasn’t worse. Hopefully the UCI doesn’t prohibit him from getting a tetanus shot (joking). It was painful watching Flecha and Hoogerland roll into the finish line while their breakaway companions Voeckler and Sanchez were already up on the podium.

Hoogerland gracefully told cyclingnews:

“We can be happy that we’re alive. It’s horrible,” said Hoogerland. “I can blame everyone but I don’t think anyone does this sort of thing on purpose. I think the people in the car will have a very big guilty feeling and they will surely apologize to me and Flecha…I have three cuts that are about seven centimetres long and quite deep too. I’ll go to the hospital now and I think I’ll need about 30 stitches at least.

“I did what felt like a few somersaults. I don’t know where the car came from. Before I knew it, Flecha was on the ground and there was nothing I could do. I landed on the fence and I looked at my legs and thought, ‘Is this what cycling is about?’ I have the polka-dot jersey but I’m going to spend the rest day in a lot of pain.”

Oz Cycling

courtesy of OzCycling.com.au


Photos

courtesy of Veeral Patel and Sirotti

Stage 9 Profile

Stage 9 Results

1 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team 5:27:09
2 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar 0:00:05
3 Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJ 0:00:13
4 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:03:59
5 Peter Velits (Svk) HTC-Highroad
6 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
7 Andy Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek
8 Tony Martin (Ger) HTC-Highroad
9 Frank Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek
10 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre – ISD

69 Richie Porte (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard 0:05:50
83 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Leopard Trek 0:06:47
100 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Sky Procycling 0:12:50
138 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) HTC-Highroad 0:16:38
155 Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC-Highroad 0:21:11

General Classification after Stage 9

1 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar 38:35:11
2 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:01:49
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:02:26
4 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek 0:02:29
5 Andy Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek 0:02:37
6 Tony Martin (Ger) HTC-Highroad 0:02:38
7 Peter Velits (Svk) HTC-Highroad
8 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Team RadioShack 0:02:43
9 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:02:55
10 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Leopard Trek 0:03:08

76 Richie Porte (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard 0:25:21
81 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Sky Procycling 0:25:59
99 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Leopard Trek 0:33:30
112 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) HTC-Highroad 0:39:42
169 Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC-Highroad 1:01:04

Points Classification

1 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 217 pts
2 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team 172
3 Mark Cavendish (GBr) HTC-Highroad 153
4 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Team Garmin-Cervelo 137
5 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 135
6 Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 99
7 André Greipel (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto 78
8 Tyler Farrar (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo 76
9 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 60

KOM Classification
1 Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 22 pts
2 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar 16
3 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) HTC-Highroad 5
4 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team 5
5 Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJ 5
6 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling 4
7 Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ 3
8 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 2
9 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 2
10 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 2

Young Rider Classification

1 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 38:39:12
2 Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:00:51
3 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ 0:01:20
4 Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:01:42
5 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:01:50
6 Jerome Coppel (Fra) Saur – Sojasun 0:02:34
7 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:03:19
8 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling 0:03:44
9 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar 0:05:11
10 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:05:19

Stage 10 Preview
Rest day tomorrow