Monday, March 23, 2009

Lance Breaks Collarbone In Bike Crash During Tour de France Tune-up In Spain

BALTANAS, Spain -- Lance Armstrong was taken to a hospital Monday after crashing during the first stage of a five-day race in Spain.

Armstrong fell in a pile-up about 12.5 miles from the stage's finish. The seven-time Tour de France champion, who is making a comeback to cycling and is riding with the Astana team in the Vuelta of Castilla and Leon race, may have injured his collarbone.

Team spokesman Philippe Maertens said the American cyclist was taken to the hospital by ambulance, and race organizers said Armstrong was being treated at the Rio Carrion hospital in Palencia.

Garmin-Slipstream leader Christian Vande Velde was in front of the crash and didn't see it, but described the stretch where it happened as "a goat path -- bumpy and not much bigger than a one-lane road.''

"There was a lot of nervousness, people trying to get into position,'' Vande Velde, who rode with Armstrong at U.S. Postal Service for several years, told "Lance takes more care than anyone. He's always up near the front. That's why it's ironic.''

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