By Brecht Decaluwé in Angoulême
Belgian Frederik Willems (Liquigas) was in the breakaway with his compatriot Axel Merckx (T-Mobile) today, but he was taken down by a crash involving Sandy Casar and a dog.
The Belgian explained to Cyclingnews what happened after he rolled over the finish line as last rider, 11 minutes behind winner Casar. "A dog was crossing the road, and the man in front of me [Casar] hit it. I was hidden behind him, and I never saw that dog. I only saw it when we were already down," Willems recalled.
After the unsuccessful attempts to get into otherwise breakaways, including the successful one today, the Belgian was again unlucky. "It isn't to be in this Tour de France," Willems said to Cyclingnews.
"It turned out to be the successful escape, and that makes it more painful. I couldn't deal with it at great length. Otherwise things seem worse, so I just focused on riding to the finish." Willems has only one goal left in this Tour and that shouldn't be a problem. "I want to make it to Paris."