Riders blame oil on Col du Stockeu for spills
Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) - 42nd on stage, 19th overall at 3:36: "It was a straight road – downhill – with oil or whatever on it and the whole peloton went down. Sorry to the public for not racing. But it would not have been fair to the many who were injured."
Alberto Contador (Astana) - 81st on stage, 7th overall @ 3:24: "It was a really crazy stage. On this road it was impossible not to fall. I fell on a straight part at about 60 km/h. I saw at every turn there were people on the ground, it was impossible to go without falling.
“As soon as I heard that Andy was behind I ordered all my teammates to stop. As I wished he'd do with me, I had to do with him. [There was disagreement] with some teams who wanted to go ahead in spite of everything, because there were many dangerous riders in front too. In the end they acted with logic and decided to stop in front too.”
Carlos Sastre (Cervelo Test Team) – 45th on stage, 51st overall @ 3:51 minutes: “Today has been another fairly stressful day, with lots of agitation. It was a very fast stage in which we tried to control the breakaway that took place at the start, as today was a good day for Thor. The team did a sensational job. Then there was quite a bit of chaos in the ride down Col de Stockeu, which was caused by some patches of oil on the tarmac.
“There were lots of falls and a great deal of chaos amongst all of the teams, with groups all over the place... We took the initiative to start racing again as Thor Hushovd, Jérémy Hunt and I were in the leading group but no-one was helping us. Then Fabian Cancellara told Thor that the race had been neutralised and we weren’t receiving any information on the radio. The race was stopped and then all the people who had taken a fall came back into the main group. It was a strange situation that didn’t help us at all, but that's what happens in racing: there are things that happen and that’s it. We got through another day without any setbacks, which in my case is the most important thing.”
Linus Gerdemann (Milram) - 8th on stage, 10th overall @ 3:32: “That wasn't a strike. With this action we wanted to show our solidarity with the many crash victims.”
Jerome Pineau (Quick Step) - 119th on stage, 31st overall @ 3:46, new mountains classification leader: “I’m thrilled. Sylvain and I had a great race. If I captured the polka dot jersey, Chavanel also gets some credit, since not only did he win the stage, he helped me on all the mountain climbs. In the Giro d’Italia we won two stages: one of them I won and I worn the red jersey for a few days. Here at the Tour de France history is repeating itself, actually, we’re doing even better and let’s hope it stays that way.”
Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions) - 191st on stage, 182nd overall @ 18:32: "One minute I was riding down the descent and the next minute I was sliding. That was the first crash. I got back up and started descending again and I have no idea what happened; all of the sudden my front wheel was gone and I was on the ground again. That’s the one where I knew something was very wrong.
"I rode the last 30k with one hand. I laid my left hand on the handlebars but that’s all I could do. I have a fracture in my wrist and banged up my elbow pretty badly. No one wants to quit the Tour de France, so you’ll push yourself a lot more through the pain than you will in any other bike race in the world. I’m determined to start tomorrow and as of this moment, that’s the plan."
Julian Dean (Garmin-Transitions) - 170th on stage, 175th overall @ 14:01: "Today was just one of those days where I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I tried to snake a trail through the falling riders around me but it was to no avail. I hit the road hard and could sense right away that I was not coming out of this one lightly.
"Post stage examinations and x rays all come back with nothing overly serious. I am more than a little sore where I took the impact on my back but I think I’ll be ok. So goes the Tour de France. It’s back on the bike to do it all again tomorrow."
David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) - 114th on stage, 4th overall @ 3:17: "Today was definitely in my top five worst days on a bike, ever, and that’s a big cull considering the length of my career. My first crash was a simple race incident where Christian, Julian and myself were well positioned at the front, but someone in front of us lost control before the Stockeu. This didn’t bother me, I just lost some skin on my left side, but it made me more diligent to be at the front at the Stockeu. Whitey kept reminding us to be at the front over the top to avoid crashes, and that’s where we were even after the chase of the previous crash.
"Within only 200 meters of cresting I could see Lance fall about 10 places in front of me on a straight road. When I saw that happen I knew something wasn’t right - and that was immediately followed by my wheels disappearing from under me and my sliding across the ground. As I came to a standstill, Christian passed and asked if I was all right, to which I replied yes and got right back on my bike. At this point there were guys everywhere on the ground all around me. Only 200 meters after getting back on my bike I was faced with a Cofidis rider losing control in front of me. There was nothing I could do and I hit him and somersaulted over my handlebars, landing heavily on my ribs in a ditch thinking this time, I wasn’t fine.
"I got up and fixed my bike myself, and then I tip toed down the descent surveying the absolute carnage that was the Tour de France peloton and wondering what was going on. By this point I had no idea where Christian or anyone else was and had to concentrate on getting back to the front of the race. I got back, finished and waited in the bus to hear about the rest of my teammates. I’m very proud of the fact that all of us finished considering the disparity of some of our injuries. It reflects why our team is what it is, and why I love it."
Jeremy Hunt (Cervelo Test Team) - 17th on stage, 94th overall @ 4:10: “We pulled at the front all day. We all managed to get through. It was just chaos. In the end, they didn’t want to sprint. I cannot understand why. Hopefully there will be no points awarded for today's stage. It’s going to be chaos again tomorrow.”
Cervelo Test Team's Jean-Paul van Poppel: “Everything was going to plan at first. It’s pretty bad for us. We took everything on our shoulders. No team wanted to start chasing. They wanted to let it go. We put up our hands and started to work. Everything was going well until the crash. If the crash wasn’t there, I am quite sure that there would have been a sprint and Thor would have been a big favorite. What the other teams decide to do, that’s their problem. It doesn’t matter what they want or not want, our guys are really motivated. They decided not to sprint for the points, and Thor was really upset about that. It ended up badly because of the crash. Otherwise it could have been the flowers and maybe the champagne.
“Tuesday’s stage will be important. Anyone can win this stage, not just a cobblestone specialist. We have very strong prospects with Thor for the stage victory. It will also be important to keep Carlos out of trouble. The stage should not be too difficult, because there are 13 km of cobblestones, not 60 km. I don’t have a problem seeing the cobblestones in the Tour de France. It’s part of cycling. It will be a big spectacle for the race.”
Team Radioshack's Johan Bruyneel: “It was dangerous all day so everybody was really paying attention. But on the downhill of the Stockeu it was like something I’ve never seen. It was like ice skating. It was as if something was on the road. When we got there in the car there were people everywhere. Lance went down, Klodi went down, Levi went down but it’s just skin. They will be ok.”
Milram's Gerry van Gerwen: "The riders themselves made that decision to show their respect for the crashed riders. But you must also see the other side. The fans, who stand along the road to see cycling, and for the sponsors and the race organiser, who invest so much in the Tour de France – they also deserve respect.“
BMC Racing Team's John Lelangue: "We are glad Cadel and Brent made it back – especially Brent – because his place is important for the position of our team car on another technical stage tomorrow."
Back to top