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C is for Crash: 1994 in Armentières

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June 8, 2016 – This is the third part of a daily countdown to the 2016 Tour de France (#TDF2016) in an A-to-Z series of images and words that capture the many emotions of the world’s biggest bike race.

#PelotonShorts by John Wilcockson/Photo by Yuzuru Sunada

For the letter C, we’ve chosen the dramatic CRASH at the end of the opening road stage of the 1994 Tour in Armentières, northern France. The man in the blue shirt is a gendarme who was on security duty, standing in an alcove along the crowd barriers, 75 meters from the finish line.

With (very) bad judgment, he stepped onto the roadway with a camera to take a photo of the sprinters at top speed. Belgian champion Willfried Nelissen (on the ground at left in this image) collided violently with the police officer and the rider in pink, Frenchman Laurent Jalabert crashed into them, and after this shot (as he’s still in midair) crashed headfirst into the asphalt and suffered extensive injuries to his face, jaw and teeth.

The stage winner was Djamolidin Abdujaparov (in yellow and green), ahead of German sprinter Olaf Ludwig (in white and pink).

Follow @pelotonmagazine for more #pelotonshorts from John Wilcockson.
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