Hoogerland holds onto polka dot jersey

12th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

Johhny Hoogerland, who fast became a hero after being catupulted into a barbed wire fence at high speed on Sunday, got a standing ovation this afternoon in the Tour de France.

He not only completed the 158-kilometre 10th stage of the race between Auriallac and Carmaux with 33 stitches in his legs and abdomen, he also held onto the title King of the Mountains.

"To be honest it went better than I thought it would," he said relieved.

He finished almost six minutes after today's winner André Greipel, after fellow Vacansoleil team member Marco Marcato manage to take all the day's points for climbing - keeping Hoogerland ahead of the rest in points.

Meanwhile the Tour manager Christian Prudhomme is still deliberating over future measures to make the tour safer. Tour riders have already demanded that the number of accompanying cars and motorbikes be reduced by half.

At the beginning of Tuesday's race Mr Prudhomme reiterated that "The car should never have driven the way it did."

The International Cyclists Union UCI is investigating the cause of the large number of pile ups in this year's Tour. A spokesperson said, they are looking into the number of cyclists, the material and the course after a number of prominent cyclists were forced to exit after enduring serious injuries.

So far Bradley Wiggens, Aleksandre Vinokurov, Jurgen van den Broeck and Tom Boonen are among the cyclists who have dropped out. Vinokurov has had to be operated on for a broken leg, van den Broeck was treated in intensive care after breaking his ribs and shoulder blade and suffering a pneumothorax. Tom Boonen pulled out in the seventh stage due to concussion after a fall in the third leg.

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