French police to investigate Tour accident

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The French police are to investigate the circumstances of Sunday's accident in the Tour de France in which a French television car collided with two cyclists. Local police will look into who was responsible for the "traffic accident with physical injury".

Sky cyclist Juan Antonio Flecha and Dutch Vacansoleil rider Johnny Hoogerland were almost knocked out of the race when the car knocked Flecha into Hoogerland, sending the Dutch rider flying into a barbed wire fence.

The two cyclists were in the leading group when the TV car overtook and swerved into Flecha. A manoeuvre which is against the rules on such a narrow stretch of road. Both riders lost valuable time. Dutch cyclist Hoogerland, who had already gathered enough points to win the polka dot jersey for best climber, had lacerations to his legs and needed 33 stitches. Flecha injured his elbow and also received stitches.

After the accident Tour manager Christian Prudhomme expelled both the driver and the car from the competition on Sunday. So far no further measures have been announced.

A spokesperson for the Tour said on Monday that officials had visited the two teams. He said Vacansoleil was waiting to see how Hoogerland felt before considering legal action. He did not think Sky would take action.

Vacansoleil has said it is not thinking of claims right now as it's first priority is keeping Hoogerland on the bike. However, neither team has ruled out taking action.

However the racing teams are collectively trying to bring down the number of motor bikes and guest cars in the race via professional cyclists’ organisation AIGCP.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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