Jens Voigt is my Favorate Pro Roadie Alive!!
(New York Times) While Lance Armstrong’s attempt to win Tuesday’s stage of the Tour de France at the age of 38 stole the headlines, Jens Voigt, a German support rider on a rival team who is one day older than the former champion, won praise from many cycling fans just for refusing to quit the race.
Voigt, who rides in support of a teammate who currently stands in second place in the overall standings, Andy Schleck, had to go to extraordinary lengths to finish Tuesday’s stage after his front tire “exploded” and he crashed while descending a mountain in the Pyrenees at more than 40 miles per hour. His bike was shattered and his body bloodied.
In a post on Bicycling magazine’s Web site, written after his various injuries were eventually diagnosed, Voigt explained: “About the only place that feels good right now is my right ankle. The rest of me is all road rash. Plus I’ve got five stitches in my left elbow and then there are some ribs that are not in the right place! I may have to get X-rays, but I hate X-rays (the radiation), and plus, if I’ve got a fractured rib, what can anyone do about it?”
He added that after his crash, he was confronted by the Tour’s dreaded “broom wagon,” which sweeps up riders who decide to abandon the race along the road when the going gets really tough. He refused to get in, despite no longer having a bike to ride.
Voigt explained how he got back in the race:
The worst thing of all was that I almost got forced out of the Tour for a second year in a row. The problem was that the first team car was behind Andy Schleck, and the second had decided to go up ahead to hand out water bottles at the foot of the next climb. As a result I had no bike, because mine was shattered.
So then the broom wagon pulled up and was like, “Do you want to just get in?” And I said, “Oh no, I don’t need YOU!” But there I am with blood spurting out my left elbow and no bike. Finally, the race organizers got me a bike, but it was this little yellow junior bike. It was way too small for me and even had old-fashioned toe-clip pedals. But that is the only way I could get down the mountain, so I had to ride it for like 15-20 kilometers until I finally got to a team car with my bike.
Post Stage Interview with Jens...
Another note/reminder.. Race this Sunday! Weather permitting anyway...