On top of the inhuman aerobic exertion, there's also the possibility of peeling your skin off on hot tarmac after slamming into it at 50mph. Like on yesterday's third stage, when this happened:
I'll take a big Fuck That with a side of Nope, please.
With this horrific scene in mind, I thought I'd smash together some of my favourite (probably the wrong word) crashes from over the years for your shareable content pleasure.
Djamolodine Abdoujaparov Eats Major Shit
Djamolodine Abdoujaparov was an Uzbek sprinter who was notorious for an elbows out, head down, balls to the wall style. His peers thought his technique was ludicrously dangerous and had the potential to endanger the entire peleton. So when he slammed into the barrier on the final stage in 1991, through no fault but his own, many of his competitors thought it was just desserts for his haphazard attitude on the bike. I know that sounds harsh, but remember that pro cyclists are notoriously butthurt individuals.
The Barbed Wire Crash
A few years ago some mug in a team car clipped a rider causing him to crash. The cyclist behind him came flying off his bike right into a barbed wire fence lining a field next to the route nacional. Had he landed a foot to either side, he would have been impaled on a wooden fence post. The guy in the car must have felt really shitty about that one. Zut Alors!
Some Policeman Gets Fucking REKT
In a show of organisational ineptitude befitting our French neighbours, the final kilometer of stages used to be lined with policemen. But they weren't off-set from the road like they are today, but plonked right on the side. The altered position occured after one member of the Gendarmerie took a cyclist to the face in 1994. As you can see in the video, cyclist Wilfried Nellison came off way worse than the policeman - who only suffered a broken leg.
However I'm sure he still sued for a billion francs then went on strike for 19 years.
Lance Armstrong, American Hero
On a mountain stage in 2003, Armstrong was pursuing his main rival, Joseba Beloki, on a descent when the hot tarmac caused Beloki's tyre to fucking explode! He came off hard, and from what I recall he broke his hip. Armstrong, ever the pragmatist, cut across a field to avoid crashing into his downed rival, proving that the only edge he had over his competitors was a badass attitude and sick off road skills.
After all, Beloki was implicated in a drug ring soon after this Tour. Alexandre Vinokourov, who won the stage that day, was a huge drugs cheat. Everyone else was slamming hella gear. Armstrong wasn't anymore of a cheat than the others. He was just the best at it.
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