Tuesday, July 05, 2005

 

An inexplicable fall?


ZABRISKIE AFTER THE FALL. This AFP photo shows a CSC manager helping American David Zabriskie back on a new bike after an initially inexplicable crash within 1200 meters of the stage finish earlier today. Teammates and witnesses say he accidentally clipped the wheel of a teammate and tumbled into barricades. Whatever the cause, with the fall, Zabriskie loses the Yellow Jersey, finds himself in 9th place, and 1'26" behind the new Tour de France leader--Lance Armstrong. The extent of Zabriskie's injuries are not yet known; it is uncertain if he will or will not line up for Stage 5 tomorrow. Before the fall, Zabriskie was leading his CSC team on a pace that was slightly faster than Discovery Channel. After his fall, they lost the 67.5 km team time trial by only 2 seconds. Tough day at the office, don't you think?

Comments:
I'm not sure "inexplicable" is the proper adjective. Clipping the rear wheel of another rider leads to a fall 99 times out of a 100, especially when you're riding at 60 kph.

Zabriskie made a terrible mistake, and paid the price. I feel sorry for him; this was not even a mistake that is educational, other than as a reminder that the yellow jersey confers no special immunity from the consequences of less-than-perfect execution.
 
I thought that he made a rookie mistake. First team time trial, first Tour de France, first real pressure (so to speak) while wearing that yellow jersey. I think that it was educational, not in that he should now know not to touch wheels (basics, of course), but that he needs to be alert. I'm sure he knew that, but the yellow jersey is something completely different. And next time? He won't make the same mistake.

Though I'm really unhappy he fell and lost the jersey, I'm relieved that he got up and kept riding.
 
Eric,

maybe you should check your facts before going on about the mistakes of Zabriskie. First of all it was quite obvious that he didn't clip the wheel of the rider in front of him, unless he magically clipped a wheel that was half a bike length in front of him. Secondly, he was a least a foot from the baricade when it happened, so the railing isn't to blame either.
 
Jonas, I was going by other reports that blamed the fall on clipping the wheel.

If he didn't clip the wheel, then he just lost control.

Which is worse?
 
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I went to bed before the revelations about clipping came out, cursed for living in the states I guess. I just watched OLN (sadly, it's the best I've got) and they informed me that Dave did not, in fact, touch wheels. Which is a relief to me.

Edited because of conflicting information. I guess we'll never really know what happened. Either he had a mechanical problem (which seems the most likely) or, as OLN stated Riis said, he bumped his elbow and his knee and twisted the bars.

At least the injuries weren't worse.
 
So, does "inexplicable" stand, or do I change it? I haven't read anything yet from Zabriskie himself. All I can say is that it seems very weird to me: Yellow Jersey, mid-pack, about to better Armstrong's best, almost within site of the finish line, only one goes down...
 
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