Jens Voigt descends the Peyresourde Pass on a loaner bike after a crash shattered his own (Robin Wilmott)

On stage 16 of this year’s Tour de France, Jens Voigt showed us what legends are made of. About 2km’s into the descent of Peyresourde Pass, he blew his front tyre and he went down.  This crashed almost forced him out of the Tour for a second year in a row.

To make matters worse, the first team car was behind Andy Schleck, and the second had decided to go up ahead to hand out water bottles at the foot of the next climb. As a result Jens had no bike as his was shattered from the front wheel blow out.

According to Jens:

So then the broom wagon pulled up and was like, “Do you want to just get in?” And I said, “Oh no, I don’t need YOU!” But there I am with blood spurting out my left elbow and no bike. Finally, the race organizers got me a bike, but it was this little yellow junior bike. It was way too small for me and even had old-fashioned toe-clip pedals. But that is the only way I could get down the mountain, so I had to ride it for like 15-20 kilometers until I finally got to a team car with my bike.

Then, I still had to get up to the grupetto. All I can say is that that desperate times need desperate measures, but I got up there. And once I did it was grupetto all day long.

Needless to say, I had plenty of time to come up with a fitting book of the day. It’s from the Disk World series by Terry Pratchett. In it, the protagonist is Conan the Barbarian, who is a 70-year-old who has just survived everything. At one point he, and his other old warrior friends capture this village, but then they find that they are surrounded by an army of tens of thousands, and his only reaction is, “Oh man, it’s going to take days to kill all these people!” And that’s the way I was today when I was lying on the ground. I just thought, “Oh no, I’m going to Paris this year, I’m going to Paris. There’s just no way you are going to get me out of this race for the second year in a row!”

This just goes to show what a legend the man is becoming! No matter what bike he was riding, no matter what his circumstances were, he decided not to give up. You have to admire that?!

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by SweatnGears, Paul Stewart. Paul Stewart said: RT @SweatnGears: New blog post: Jens Voigt – what legends are made of […]

  2. steve says:

    Terry Pratchett fans will know that should be “Cohen the Barbarian.” Conan was a movie…

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