As an avid cyclist and lover of the sport, I can’t get enough of the Tour De France. The thrill of a sprint finish or an explosive climb gives me goose bumps. (If you’ve never seen Lance Armstrong’s 2001 climb of Alpe D’Huez, please stop reading and Youtube it now). But beyond sprints and climbs, many watch for the crashes.
During the first week of this year’s Tour de France, more riders have abandoned the race due to injury than in any Tour since 1997, when entire teams were sent home due to doping. There are many reasons for crashes in the Tour. In many French cities, roundabouts, traffic islands, and concrete stumps erected to make the roads safer for drivers serve as a hazard for cyclists.
In the peleton, one rider’s mistake can cause dozens of others to crash, as the cyclists often ride directly up against one another’s back wheel. Crashes are most common in the first week of the Tour, when the race is usually the flattest (and easiest). The sheer number of riders at this stage make it very dangerous. It’s inevitable that crashes will occur when 200 riders charge at 60 km/h down winding country lanes.
In honor of all the cyclists who have pulled out due to a crash, I’ve compiled the below list of top 10 Tour De France crashes of all time:
10) Joseba Beloki/Lance Armstrong (2003)
9) Marcus Burhardt (2010)
8) Lance Armstrong (2003)
7) Bernard Hinault (1985)
6) Jens Voigt (2009)
5) Wim Van Est (1951)
4) Sandy Casar (2007)
3) Djamolidine Abdujaparov (1991)
2) Flecha and Hoogerland (2011)
1) Laurent Jalabart (1994)