Road Cycling

Tour de France Crash | Johnny Hoogerland and the 2011 Barbed-Wire Car-Crash That Was One of the Worst

...this must be one of the worst Tour de France crashes of all time

Could this be the worst Tour de France crash the famous race has ever seen? It’s certainly one of the most barbaric in the long history of the event.

Let us take you back to 2011, when Johnny Hoogerland and Juan Antonio Flecha were knocked off their bikes by a passing press car, and thrown straight into a barbed wire fence.

Cars and cyclists have never been the best of friends, but you’d expect as few incidents as possible between the two during the most famous cycling race in the world; and you’d expect the press to be as cautious as they possibly can around the riders.

Hoogerland and Flecha were powering along when they were taken out as the car overtaking the five-man runaway group swerved to the right to avoid a tree. The Dutch rider had won the mountain jersey in the sixth stage, and recaptured it in the ninth.

The other three men in the breakaway were safe enough, but Hoogerland and Flecha were batted by the France 2 media car into the piercing barbed wire on the ninth stage of the Tour.

Needless to say Hoogerland’s chances of winning the stage and the polka dot jersey were all but gone after the crash; and his injuries were severe. He had deep cuts in his legs requiring 33 stitches, but someone managed to finish the stage, and the rest of the race, despite being involved in one of the worst Tour de France crashes ever.

Hoogerland bounced back from the horrific incident, winning the 2013 Dutch Championships, riding with Italian team Androni Giocattoli in 2014 and signing with Dutch team Roompot for 2015. Off the bike though was another struggle – to recover from the Saint-Flour crash.

> Tour de France preview 2016: Everything you need to know…

Sources online say Johnny still suffers with back pain and insomnia. He’s some man for soldiering on, getting back on the bike and keeping his career going.

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