A careless fan, a momentous collision and bitter consequences. After his serious fall on the fifth stage of the Tour de France, the Austrian professional cyclist Michael Gogl spoke up via Instagram. “I broke my pelvis, collarbone and a vertebra,” wrote the 28-year-old on Friday. At the same time, he gave the all-clear and was relieved: “I’m grateful that I can move my legs.”
Gogl had to spend a night in intensive care at a hospital in Valenciennes because an artery was damaged. He has been in the hospital in Herentals, Belgium for further examinations since Thursday.
The serious fall had occurred on a cobblestone passage on Wednesday. The Italian Daniel Oss collided with a careless spectator on the edge and fell like the Dutchman Danny van Poppel driving behind him. The approaching Gogl could no longer avoid it and flew over Oss’s wheel at high speed.
While Gogl gave up the race immediately, Oss still drove to the finish. It was only there that a cervical fracture was found on Wednesday evening, so that the veteran also had to give up.
“Guys, please stay off the road,” wrote professional cyclist Simon Geschke on Twitter. There was a serious fall on the tour last year when the German Tony Martin crashed into a spectator’s cardboard sign held on the street, with which she wanted to greet her grandparents.
There was another fall during Thursday’s stage. After that, Maximilian Schachmann criticized what he saw as the dangerous driving style of the Jumbo-Visma team and talked himself into a rage. “In any case, Jumbo needs to get his act together a bit. Roglic caused this fall again because they just drive like broken ones for the last few centimeters, can’t do it, then hang themselves on the roadside. This is a hazard for all riders and totally unnecessary,” said the professional cyclist from Team Bora-hansgrohe after the sixth stage.
In the scene mentioned by Schachmann about 13 kilometers from the finish in Longwy, the TV images do not make it clear whether Primoz Roglic caused the fall on Thursday. You can only see how another driver falls, Roglic avoids and drives a bit through the ditch. “Where there is no space, there is simply no space at the moment. You don’t have to turn them all off,” said Schachmann.
The Jumbo-Visma team wants to win the tour with Roglic or the Dane Jonas Vingegaard. The Slovenian Roglic is already knocked off after his fall on the cobblestone stage. Vingegaard’s unsuccessful wheel change on the fifth stage made it clear that Jumbo was nervous. After a defect, the Dane took the bike of his much larger teammate Nathan Van Hooydonck instead of waiting for the nearby team vehicle. Vingegaard didn’t even get on the saddle of the wheel. The scene became a joke on social media.