Tour de France News Flash for July 7, 2003
Edited by Jeff Jones
Hamilton, Leipheimer and Lotz out of Tour
Tyler Hamilton's, Levi Leipheimer's and Marc Lotz's dreams of riding
a good Tour de France came to a bitter end in stage
1 after they were involved in the massive pileup with less than 500m
to go. The crash was precipitated by Jose Enrique Gutierrez (Kelme), who
lost control after being pushed by a Cofidis rider as the peloton wound
up for a bunch sprint.
Tyler Hamilton was one of many who came down, falling heavily on his
shoulder. He was immediately taken to hospital for examination, where
it was confirmed that he had broken his right collarbone. It was an early
exit for the CSC rider, who was tipped as a podium chance, and finished
sixth in the prologue.
Rabobank's Levi Leipheimer also came down hard in the crash, and after
being taken to hospital for X-rays, it was confirmed that he had broken
a hip bone in his left buttock. That means he will be out of the Tour,
while sitting in 13th overall. Rabobank also lost Marc Lotz to facial
injuries, and that will make life tough for Theo De Rooij's squad in the
upcoming team time trial, and of course for the rest of the Tour.
Other riders to come down included race leader Brad McGee and Lance
Armstrong, who were relatively unhurt, and Jimmy Casper and Richard Virenque,
who were more seriously injured, but will start stage 2.
Alessandro Petacchi won the stage from Robbie McEwen and Erik Zabel,
while Brad McGee kept the yellow jersey.
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