Mountain stages of the Tour de France are most associated with the treacherous climb involved in ascending the soaring European peaks. But, as the old adage goes, what goes up must come down. And for as difficult as the climb is, the descent isn't to be taken lightly.
Riders frequently hit 70 km/h during downhill straightaways, which makes any obstacle in the road a very real danger. German cyclist Jens Voigt found that out the hard way today, as his bike hit debris in the road during the final downhill portion of Stage 16 of the Tour de France. The impact sent him skidding down the paved road for a few hundred meters. When he stopped, Voigt was bloodied and unconscious. (You can watch video of the crash here.)
After regaining consciousness, Voigt was rushed to her a hospital where he is alert but "shocked". The most serious injuries are to his face and elbow. Needless to say, his Tour de France is over, which is a striking blow to his Saxo Bank team.