Tour de France Deflated as Tacks Derail Riders
This year’s Tour de France saw another scary situation for the participants as tacks were strewn across the roadway. Causing a bit of confusion and an equal amount of panic, the event evaded plunging into chaos as riders were able to keep their wits about them. The incident occurred during the race’s 14th stage on Sunday.
Near 30 of the 162 participants found themselves with deflated tires following the final moments of the stage’s climb and first part of the decent. The Tour’s technical director, Jean Francois Pescheux, speculates tacks were strewn across the road.
Only one major injury resulted from the incident as Croatian Robert Kiserlovski slid off the roadway and received a broken collarbone. 2011 Tour winner Cadel Evans reportedly received three flat tires in a single kilometer.
French authorities have been asked to open an investigation into the incident and levy charges against those assailants responsible. The Tour organization went on to state, “We deplore such irresponsible acts that constitute an assault on the riders’ physical integrity.”
Because officials had difficulty in whether or not to postpone the race, 50 or so riders who broke ahead of the incident decided to relent for the sake of sportsmanship. Luis Leon Sanchez ended up taking the his fourth stage win in a row after the incident.
Today is a rest in anticipation of tomorrow and the following day’s mountainous 16th and 17th stages.