Tour de France Racer Hits Fans, Suffers Broken Neck

Incredibly, Italy's Daniel Oss got up and finished that leg, but he later pulled out of race
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2022 2:18 PM CDT
Tour de France Racer Hits Fans, Suffers Broken Neck
Italy's Daniel Oss is seen during the Tour de France on Sept. 19, 2020.   (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

An elite racer from Italy has been forced to withdraw from the Tour de France, due to a broken neck suffered after he collided with spectators on a particularly tricky part of the course. Daniel Oss of Team TotalEnergies was cruising along Wednesday during Stage 5 of the race, on a cobblestone street between Lille and Arenberg, when he lost his balance after grazing one fan, then crashed directly into another who was leaning in to film the bikers, reports CNN. A video posted online shows the moment of the crash, which sent the 35-year-old Oss tumbling, as well as two other riders behind him.

Incredibly, Oss got up, jumped back on his bike, and finished that leg of the course, but news that came later wasn't good. "Additional examinations revealed a fracture of a cervical vertebra requiring immobilization for a few weeks," Oss' team announced hours later. "Daniel Oss is therefore forced to leave the Tour de France." The Telegraph notes that the section of cobblestone roadway where Oss had his accident is notoriously feared by riders, and that racers trying to avoid the bumpiest parts of the road can end up crashing into spectators standing along the strips of grass on the side.

"We see the carnage it causes and we see the damage it does to people who prepare for this race all year long," former Tour de France champion Sir Bradley Wiggins says of the cobblestone roads, per Yahoo News UK. Another Tour de France winner, Chris Froome, similarly decries the "huge risks" of this part of the course. One of the other riders who was caught up in Oss' crash, Austrian Michael Gogl, ended up with a broken collarbone and pelvis and underwent surgery in Belgium. Other less-serious crashes also occurred Wednesday during Stage 5. "The whole team wishes you a good recovery Daniel," Oss' team noted in its tweet. (More Tour de France stories.)

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