Christian Vande Velde Exits 2010 Tour de France

News & Results

07/5/2010| 0 comments
by Thomas A. Valentinsen

Christian Vande Velde Exits 2010 Tour de France

A crash-marred Stage 2 of the 2010 Tour de France saw five Team Garmin-Transitions riders hit the tarmac.

SPA, BELGIUM - JULY 05: American cyclist Christian VandeVelde, 34, of team Garmin-Transitions is viewed after a crash along stage 2 of the Tour de France July 5, 2010 in Spa, Belgium. The 201km route with six categorised climbs travels from Brussels to the city of Spa. France's Sylvain Chavanel won the second stage, taking the overall leader's yellow jersey from Fabian Cancellara. The iconic bicycle race will include a total of 20 stages and will cover 3,642km before concluding in Paris on July 25. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A crash-marred Stage 2 of the 2010 Tour de France saw five Team Garmin-Transitions riders hit the tarmac.

Christian Vande Velde, Tyler Farrar and Julian Dean were all taken to a local hospital where they were evaluated by team and hospital physicians.

Christian Vande Velde suffered a left eyelid laceration requiring multiple stitches, along with two broken ribs.

Tyler Farrar sprained his left elbow and suffered a significant hematoma and abrasion. He also fractured his left wrist and suffered multiple other contusions and abrasions.
Julian Dean suffered a large contusion on his left upper back. David Millar, who did not go to the hospital for x-rays, suffered a potential broken rib.

All nine Team Garmin-Transitions riders completed today's stage, demonstrating courage and commitment to their team, the sport, and the Tour de France.

Eight riders will take the start tomorrow, with the exception of team leader Christian Vande Velde. This season, Christian suffered a broken collarbone at the Giro d'Italia, three broken ribs at the Tour du Suisse, and today, suffered two additional broken ribs and multiple contusions. The extent of all of these injuries combined will prevent him from starting Stage 3.

Following are quotes from Garmin-Transitions team members and directors.

Jonathan Vaughters, CEO, Director Sportif:

Clearly, this will mean a change in the general strategy for Team Garmin-Transitions.  We will focus on the multitude of talented riders we have on this team. We'll be looking for stage wins and ways to animate the race. I'm proud of the ride our team did today. Despite injury and conditions, they pushed through, and all nine finished the race. We've lost Christian, and we're all sad about that. He's had a tough season and has preserved and pushed himself like few other athletes could. Tomorrow is going to be painful for Tyler. He's got significant injuries, so starting alone is a huge step, and from there we'll have to see how he goes. But regardless, a good, strong team remains at this Tour and we'll be a part of the action throughout.

Christian Vande Velde:

I crashed once right before the Stockeu. Riders crashed in front of me and I wasn't able to avoid them, so I went down. We all knew it was important to be at the front over the climb and at that point, I felt ok and got back on and made it back to the front to get up Stockeu. Then another rider lost control in front of me and again, I couldn't avoid it. I crashed and landed in a ditch. I'm not sure what I hit; I think it might have been a pole. At that point my eye was bleeding pretty badly and the pain in my side and my back was excruciating. I got back on the bike though, and was coming back with Andy Schleck. I tried to stay with that group, but the pain was too much and I couldn't get out of the saddle to make it back on.
No one wants to leave the Tour de France. I worked really hard to get myself ready to be here again and I was just starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm indescribably disappointed to not be starting tomorrow. I wish everyone luck - my team and all the other riders at this Tour de France. I don't ever want to have to see another day like today, whether I'm in the race or not.

Garmin-Transitions' Tyler Farrar of the U.S sits on the road after a crash in the second stage of the Tour de France cycling race from Brussels to Spa, July 5, 2010.  REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel (BELGIUM - Tags: SPORT CYCLING)

Tyler Farrar:

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:

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:

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.

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