BOURG-SAINT-MAURICE, France, July 21, 2009 (AFP) – German veteran Jens Voigt of Saxo Bank crashed out of the Tour de France after suffering a horrific crash on Tuesday’s 16th stage.
The 37-year-old temporarily lost consciousness after a heavy fall early on the descent from the Col du Petit-Saint-Bernard and was taken to hopsital by ambulance after being revived at the scene.
“I only saw him after the crash and he looked very, very bad,” said team boss Bjarne Riis, a former Tour de France winner.
“It’s not nice to lose a rider like this, but these are things which happen in a race and you have to accept them.
“It is too early to say how bad his injuries are, I didn’t see the crash, I only saw the aftermath and it wasn’t good.
“I am just concerned with Jens’ health right now.”
Official race doctor Gerard Porte said: “He lost consciousness for three to four minutes. He has injuries mainly to his face and when he gets to hospital in Grenoble he will be having a full scan.”
Voigt – a team-mate of Andy Schleck – has had poor luck on the Tour recently after a flat tire cost him the chance to stay with a breakaway group on last Saturday’s 14th stage.
The 37-year-old suffered a back-wheel puncture at the 57km mark and despite receiving a new wheel from the neutral spares car, he lost his place in a 13-man escape which included eventual stage winner Sergei Ivanov of Katusha.
Voigt is the second rider Saxo Bank have lost inside a week.
Their 34-year-old Norwegian champion Kurt-Asle Arvesen crashed out in the 10th stage trying to avoid a spectator.
Please view photos with a sensitive eye. They are graphic crash images.
Photo’s by: CorVos Pro