Vande Velde out of Tour after crashing

Updated: July 5, 2010, 8:35 PM ET
Associated Press

SPA, Belgium -- American Christian Vande Velde pulled out of the Tour de France after breaking two ribs in a crash during Monday's second stage of the race.

Vande Velde was involved in one of the several crashes that marred the 125-mile rain-soaked stage from Brussels to Spa.

His Garmin-Transitions team said Vande Velde "suffered a left eyelid laceration requiring multiple stitches, along with two broken ribs."

Vande Velde finished fifth at the Tour two years ago.

Earlier this season, Vande Velde was forced out from the Giro d'Italia after breaking his shoulder in a crash before suffering three broken ribs at the Tour of Switzerland last month.

Vande Velde also crashed during the third stage of last year's Giro, sustaining five broken vertebrae, a broken pelvis and broken ribs.

His teammates Tyler Farrar and Julian Dean, who also were taken to a hospital for checks, will be able to start Tuesday's stage, Garmin said, although Farrar broke his left wrist.

"All nine Team Garmin-Transitions riders completed today's stage, demonstrating courage and commitment to their team, the sport and the Tour de France," their team said.

David Millar of Britain, who did not go to the hospital for checks, suffered a rib injury.

Most of the riders who fell on Monday crashed toward the end of the stage in the Stockeu pass downhill, after a motorbike crashed and spilled oil minutes before the cyclists arrived.

Seven-time Tour winner Lance Armstrong and defending champion Alberto Contador went down but escaped with scratches and road rash.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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