Australian cyclist scared by Tour de France crashes

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Australian cyclist Cadel Evans survived another day of carnage on the Tour de France, but he on Monday admitted to being terrorized after seeing a crash which left more big names abandoning the race in agony.


BMC Racing Team Cadel Evans of Australia drinks during the seventh stage of the Tour de France 2011 cycling race from Le Mans to Chateauroux July 8, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

CANBERRA - Australian cyclist Cadel Evans survived another day of carnage on the Tour de France, but he on Monday admitted to being terrorized after seeing a crash which left more big names abandoning the race in agony.

Former two-time runner-up, Evans watched in horror as he descended the Col du de Peylol to see a host riders scattered across the road.

Astana's Alexandre Vinokourov was thrown into the trees at the side of the road and had to be helped to limp back to the roadside by several teammates.

Vinokourov was rushed by air ambulance to a hospital in Paris of France, where he underwent surgery for a broken leg and pelvis. He was among several riders to crash out on the ninth stage.

Brent Bookwalter, who was involved in that crash has escaped with little more than a few bumps and bruises.

"I came around a blind corner and they were all lying there," a shaken Evans said, quoted by The Australian newspaper on Monday.

"I saw a rider who I thought was Frederick Willems."

"Honestly, it really, really frightened me, especially after what happened to Wouter (Weylandt) at the Giro."

Weylandt was killed on stage three at this year's Giro d'Italia as a result of a sickening crash.

"It was Willems and then I saw that (BMC team-mate) Brent Brookwalter was down as well. Fortunately he got back up and started racing again," Evans said.

"But it really frightened me."

Evans now sits third over at 2:26 behind Thomas Voeckler of France, with Spaniard Samuel Sanchez second at 1:49.

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