Tour de France : Spill Costs Dhaenens a Win; Fignon, LeMond Are Still 1-2
A fall in the final 500 meters cost Dutch rider Rudy Dhaenens an individual victory Wednesday, while American Greg LeMond held onto second place overall as the Tour de France passed the midway mark.
Laurent Fignon of France is the overall leader after 11 of the Tour’s 21 stages.
Wednesday’s ride was uneventful until Dhaenens broke away from the pack two miles from the finish of the 96-mile leg from Luchon to Blagnac. But with just over a quarter-mile to go, Dhaenens, leaning a bit too much, suddenly fell while rounding a curve.
The Dutchman damaged his bike and could not finish until everyone had passed him.
With Dhaenens down, Mathieu Hermans, also of the Netherlands, outsprinted the pack in 3 hours 47 minutes 47 seconds.
The Tour passed through the wheat-filled fields of the countryside of the Haute-Garonne. Theleg ended just outside the capital of the region, Toulouse, known as the “rose city” because many of the buildings are in red brick.
LeMond is seven seconds behind Fignon as they finished together in the pack.
Another American, Andy Hampsten, is in fifth place, more than five minutes behind.
Hampsten has been quietly making his way through the standings. Known as a good climber, he hopes to be well-placed for the stages in the Alps.
“I have been feeling pretty good from the start,” Hampsten said. “But I’m here to win.”
Hampsten finished fourth in the 1986 Tour de France.
The Tour de France will finish its 2,020-mile journey around France in Paris on July 23.