Sunday's wreck caused by a French television car was the second accident involving a media car during this year's Tour de France. Now, media cars must keep their distance.
Two days after a French television car caused two riders to crash at the Tour de France, race organizers, team officials, and police are dealing with the aftermath.
Spanish rider Juan Antonio Flecha was clipped by the car during a breakaway in Sunday’s Stage 9. Before tumbling over his handlebars, Mr. Flecha slid into Holland’s Johnny Hoogerland, who flew into a barbed wire fence along the small country road. The duo managed to finish the stage despite their injuries.
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The wreck was the second media-related crash of this year’s Tour de France. During last Wednesday’s stage 5, a photo motorcycle knocked Denmark’s Nicki Sorenson off his bike. Last year, Australian sprinter Robbie McEwen ran into a cameraman after crossing the finish line during stage six of the 2010 Tour and was taken to a hospital with back injuries.
Between cycling teams, organizers, police, and media, nearly 170 cars and motorcycles are on the course each stage. Many, like the France Télévisions car that clipped Flecha, are authorized to drive around the peloton throughout the day.
But Tuesday brought new restrictions for media vehicles on the course, including a mandate that cars must keep a two-minute distance from the race when roads permit.
“What we witnessed two days ago was both unacceptable and shocking,” said Jean-François Pescheux, the race’s director of competition.