By Tick of
So Richard Virenque has managed to do it again! I must honestly say
that he is not one of my favorite riders, but I respect and admire his
athletic performance. And in a year when so many young riders are
making their names known, it's great to see one of the peloton's
"oldies" stealing the show.
There seems to have been an exceptionally large number of crashes and
serious injuries in the Tour this year, with broken ribs seeming to be
the most popular. Traffic islands spring up out of nowhere to bring
riders down, and TMO's Kessler had a close encounter of the painful kind
with a fence post. All of these crashes are sad, but sadder still are
the riders' reactions. Two stick in my mind: DVE's Gian Matteo
Fagnini's fall into a ditch in an early stage. It was immediately clear
that he had broken a collarbone, but what I remember is the look on his
face: shock, pain, confusion, the knowledge that it was all already
And saddest of all, seeing Gerolsteiner's Sven Montgomery,
conceding that he couldn't continue riding with a broken collarbone,
pull over to the side of the road, climb off his bike and lean on the
hood of a parked car to cry his heart - and his frustrations - out.
On the lighter side, CSC's Jens Voigt has gotten to know the French
fauna, whether he wants to or not. First a bee flew into his helmet,
couldn't find its way out, panicked, and did what comes naturally. The
sting only hurt for 10 km or so, he said. The very next day a dog
dashed into the peloton, bringing a number of riders to fall - including Jens...