I unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective) missed this when it happened as I was on southbound I5 traveling back from the 2010 Seattle to Portland bicycle classic. It looks like the mountains in the Tour de France have taken a second swing at Jens Voigt of Team Saxo Bank. In the 2009 Tour de France Jens was unfortunately taken out of the race in one of the most dramatic crashes in the tour in recent memory.
This year the mountain tried again, but couldn’t knock him out. Jens hit the tarmac on stage 16 while descending from the Col de Peyresourde. In Jens own words, his front tire “just exploded” sending him to the ground, his bike rendered unusable. Unfortunately all of this happened behind both of the Saxo Bank team cars – leaving Jens without a bike. He was finally able to get a spare from the neutral support teams, but unfortunately the bike didn’t really fit him. I think this may be one of the most compelling images of this great rider: tattered and bloody, finishing the stage on a borrowed bike that doesn’t actually fit him, refusing to quit.
The post-stage interview shows typical Jens Voigt attitude and humor remained intact after the crash:
There is a saying among cycling fans: “Jens Voigt doesn’t get road rash. The road gets Jens rash.” It captures the toughness this rider has shown throughout his career. I’m sure the Jens mystique will be even further strengthened after this and as he crosses the Champs-Élysées.