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New KOM leader Johnny Hoogerland is overcome with emotion on a day which he suffered a serious crash while riding in the winning break.
Vacansoleil rules out taking legal action after high-speed crash
The likeable Dutchman from Vacansoleil-DCM was flung into a barbed-wire fence after a French television car hit riders as it tried to over take them at speed near the end of the stage. Hoogerland was in tears as he pulled on the climber’s polka-dot jersey on the podium and suffered from nightmares during a difficult night. Yet said he will be at the start of stage 10 in Aurillac on Tuesday.
“I’ll be at the start. I don’t know if I’ll make it (to the finish) but I want to try,” Equipe.fr reported Hoogerland as saying.
Hoogerland spent most of Sunday evening in hospital having stitches applied to the deep cuts on his legs.
“Some are in bad places but I want to try everything (to ride). I actually feel better on the bike than when I climb the stairs,” Hoogerland said after riding for 90 minutes with his father.
According to the De Telegraaf newspaper, Hoogerland slept for just four hours on Sunday night and suffered nightmares after his accident.
“I relived the crash last night. I dreamed that my back hit a pole and that ended up in a wheel chair. The incident played out in my head and I woke up in a sweat,” he said.
Despite the nature of the accident and his injuries, Hoogerland and his Vacansoleil team have confirmed that they will not take legal action against the driver or the Tour de France.
"They have apologized and we’ve accepted their apology. We’re not looking for a scapegoat. They went too far and they know that,” team manager Daan Luijkx said according to De Telegraaf.