Lance Armstrong has been on the post-cancer cycling comeback trail since announcing his unretirement back in January. However, his quest for an 8th Tour de France triumph may have been knocked off course.
During a race in Spain on Monday, Armstrong was caught up in a crash that involved as many as 20 other cyclists. Worst of all, Lance had to be taken to a hospital, perhaps suffering a broken collarbone.
CNN reports that Armstrong & the others fell only 20 kilometers from the finish line of Stage 1 of the Vuelta Castilla y Leon race. After the crash, Lance didn’t get back on his bike, and was reportedly pointing to his collarbone:
A group of 15 to 20 riders fell, according to Bartosz Huzarski, a cyclist racing for the Italian team ISD. Huzarski, who saw the fall, said he did not know what had caused it. Only Armstrong appeared to indicate he was hurt, the Polish cyclist said.
BLOOMBERG further describes Lance’s crash aftermath:
He sat on a grass bank before being helped into the ambulance. Dressed in his light-blue Astana team uniform, he grimaced as he was treated by medical staff in the back of the vehicle, television pictures showed.
An Astana team official said he didn’t know the extent of Armstrong’s injuries, but Lance has withdrawn from the rest of the race. As for the possible cause of the crash, authorities are on the lookout for this man:
Although he appeared hurt, the 37-year-old cyclist did walk unaided to the ambulance and did not need to be carried by a stretcher. Who knows - it’s probably just a few scrapes & bruises. Besides, if Lance can fight off cancer, these little Spanish boo-boos should be a piece of cake.
(And I’d like to congratulate myself for not making any testicular cancer jokes in this article. I must admit, that took some balls.)
*UPDATE*: The BBC follows up with word that Armstrong did indeed break his collarbone. But Astana team leader Johan Bruyneel adds, “It’s a fracture without complications and it should be a fast recovery.”
*UPDATE #2*: CBS has video - not of the actual crash, but of Armstrong’s ambulance aftermath: