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Tour De France Cyclist Rides 60km With Broken Knee After Crash

Tour De France Cyclist Rides 60km With Broken Knee After Crash

After crashing, Philippe Gilbert got back on his bike to finish the last 60km of that leg of the Tour de France - with a broken kneecap

Mischa Pearlmen

Mischa Pearlmen

It could have been so much worse. On Tuesday, during this year's Tour de France, Belgian cyclist Philippe Gilbert lost control of his bike on a notorious stretch of the route and crashed into a wall before tumbling over the other side of it during the Stage 16 leg of the race.

It was an incredibly dramatic crash - and made all the more so because the 36-year-old continued going. He clambered over the wall, got back on his bike and rode the remaining 60km to the finish line with blood seeping down his leg and through the bandages that first aiders applied to his cuts.

Very heroic. Although Philippe's broken kneecap would probably disagree - earlier today the winner of the 2012 World Road Race Championships (and a whole bunch of other races) tweeted this picture. Try not to vomit:

That's one hell of a swollen leg. Obviously, having a broken kneecap means he won't be participating in the last four days of the race. Can you even imagine trying to walk with that, let alone ride a bike.


Really, he just needs to stay in bed and watch Netflix - apparently it'll be four to six weeks before his knee recovers fully, which doesn't actually seem that long, given the severity of the injury. It wasn't all in vain, though, as Philippe did go on to receive the day's combativity award. Yay!


Part of the Quick-Step Floors Belgian UCI World Tour cycling team, Philippe posted a message on their Facebook page, thanking friends and fans for all the words of sympathy and encouragement they've shared with him since the crash.

He said: "I'm very grateful for all the messages I have received on my phone and social media, and also to all the riders who passed me and asked me how I was.

"I've got a lot of support from the cycling family and it's then that you see that it's really a nice sport. You appreciate it when you get support in hard moments like that."


That particular stretch of the race - the descent of Col de Portet d'Aspet - is notoriously dangerous, and in 1995 it claimed the life of Italian cyclist Fabio Casartelli when he crashed.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News