Top Tour de France Rider Hurt in Crash

Favorite Vinokourov bloodied and behind after bad fall

By Max Brallier,  Newser User

Posted Jul 13, 2007 4:34 AM CDT

(Newser) – The rider considered by many the favorite in this year's Tour de France crashed hard
yesterday, dropping him from 12th place to 81st and seriously threatening what could be his last shot at winning. Kazakh rider Alexander Vinokourov, his knees bloodied, managed to cross the finish line of the113-mile fifth stage of the race and was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Vinokourov's teammate Andréas Klöden was also hurt in a separate fall when he ran into a ditch earlier in the stage, and may not be able to return to the race.  Klöden reportedly suffered a hairline fracture in his tailbone.

Filippo Pozzato of Italy reacts as he crosses the finish line ahead of his compatriot Daniele Bennati, left, to win the 5th stage of the 94th Tour de France cycling race between Chablis and Autun, France,...   (Associated Press)
Alexandre Vinokourov of Kazakhstan pedals while bleeding after a crash near Autun during the 5th stage of the 94th Tour de France cycling race between Chablis and Autun, France, Thursday, July 12, 2007....   (Associated Press)
Filippo Pozzato of Italy, right, crosses the finish line ahead of Oscar Freire of Spain, left, and Daniele Bennati of Italy, to win the 5th stage of the 94th Tour de France cycling race between Chablis...   (Associated Press)
Alexandre Vinokourov of Kazakhstan pedals while bleeding after a crash near Autun during the 5th stage of the 94th Tour de France cycling race between Chablis and Autun, France, Thursday, July 12, 2007....   (Associated Press)
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