Crashes Rattle Tour Favorites
Vinokourov, Van den Broucke out
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Thomas Voeckler of Europcar edged out leader Thor Hushovd to take the yellow jersey at the Tour de France’s ninth stage on Sunday, as a crash sent two overall favorites home with broken bones. Alexander Vinokourov broke his femur and Jurgen Van den Broucke broke his shoulder blade in a pile-up during a wet descent on stage nine. The crash ends Vinokourov’s career, as he had said that the 2011 Tour would be his last. He was later transported by helicopter to a Parisian hospital for surgery on his fractured right femur. In a separate incident, a Euro Media press car was ejected from the Tour after hitting cyclists Juan Antonio Flecha and Johnny Hoogerland, sending the Hoogerland flying into a barbed wire fence; he later received 31 stiches but recovered and went on to take the climber’s polka-dotted jersey. Monday is a scheduled rest day for the race.
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