Chris Horner (RadioShack) hit out at the decision to include the descent of the Stockeu on the second stage of the Tour de France. Numerous riders crashed including Horner's team leader Lance Armstrong, as well as Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) and the Garmin-Transitions pair of Christian Vande Velde and Tyler Farrar. Both Garmin riders and Robbie McEwen (Katusha) were among the riders taken to hospital.
The peloton reacted to the crashes by nullifying the finale and riding to the finish without contesting the sprint, allowing Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) to take the stage and ride into the yellow jersey.
"They put on a dangerous stage and so when they put it on like that, that's the result they'll get," Horner told Cyclingnews. "They got all their drama on the descent and they lost it all at the finish and they got what they deserved. The only thing more stupid about this stage is the pro cycling federation and Cedric Vasseur for ever letting a stage like this exist in the first place. There's no place in the Tour de France for a stage like this."
Horner was lucky enough not to crash but told Cyclingnews that he and his team knew that the descent was going to be dangerous, especially with riders battling for position on the difficult terrain. "Of course we knew it was dangerous if it was going to rain. We knew. That descent is dangerous in the dry and in the wet it's suicidal and there you go. They got all their excitement."
As the peloton trickled over the line some fans began to boo, clearly unhappy with the stance taken by the bunch. "Everybody went down. I had bikes going down behind me that slid in front of me. The stage was too dangerous to be in the Tour de France."
When asked who orchestrated the decision for the go-slow, Horner said: "It was nobody's idea and everybody's idea. You could feel it. I didn't even hear them talking about it, but you could feel it happening. That's what they get and sooner or later the riders are going to protest one way or another."
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Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.
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