Crashes effectively ended Lance Armstrong's Tour de France this weekend, and they've bedeviled a great many other Tour riders over the years. Our friends at Ranker.com have put together a video listicle of the worst crashes in Tour history.
1. The Stupidest Man In France (1999)
In this clip, a reporter reports on the reporting of the Tour de France (where's your God now?!) and points out how the announcers said exactly what everyone was thinking.
Basically, what happens is that a man taking photos of the race got really overzealous on the 10th day of the 1999 Tour de France and decided to get a "better angle". He goes onto the runway and begins to take photos moments before the racers are in a hard sprint towards him, severely underestimating the speed of the cyclists.
He ruins what would most likely have been someone's victory by not only crashing into him, but during the crash pushing him off the bike completely. The announcer, as both parties are falling says:
"LOOK AT THAT STUPID, STUPID MAN!", completely disgusted with the fact that someone would ruin an athlete's work for a picture.
The announcer goes on to say that the man should be arrested and held there for the rest of the week. He completely berates the poor (but admittedly ridiculously dumb) guy for the rest of the minute.
I wonder what the picture ended up like...
Video via Broadbandsports
2. An Officer And A Not-So-Gentle Rider (1994)
Stage 1, 1994.
It's customary during the Tour de France to have officers standing by on the sidelines of the race. But during this insanely fast sprint during Stage 2 of the race, riders were hitting speeds faster than 50 MPH.
An officer decides it's a good idea to spend some time checking out the view, standing on the sidelines, completely not expecting riders to be booking it around the corner, towards him.
In this great video breakdown, they show you not only what tripped up the cyclists, but that the officer did nothing wrong.
Coolest part: the officer who saw all this happen and reacted less than a second later by jumping into the crowd to avoid the cyclists in panic.
If only the other guy had those kinds of reflexes.
It didn't terribly hurt the officer, but the rider involved was never the same cyclist again.
3. Most Epic Pile-Up Ever (2007)
After riding your bike all day, racing with the fastest and most brutal cyclists in the world for hours on end, the smallest accident can cause a huge disaster.
Right before hitting the finish line in 2007, a series of riders bit the dust, thus proving the domino effect once and for all.
This also proves that people competing in the Tour de France obviously don't practice doing trick jumps, otherwise this all could've been avoided. Next year: BMX de France.
4. Man Vs. Dog Vs. Bad Owners (2007)
As you'll learn through your experience on this list, a lot of these falls don't look too bad, but keep in mind the speed at which they're going. It's basically like being thrown out of a car wearing only thin shorts and a helmet.
But really, the worst part of ANY of these crashes is how one tiny little thing set off the chain of events. Be it a dog (there are a frustrating number of dog accidents), a spectator or even just someone losing balance, if it weren't for the smallest, most insignificant details of the Tour de France going wrong, none of these wouldn't have happened.
The most frustrating of these accidents? THE DOGS
Okay, so this item is kind of a roller coaster. Unlike most of these dog-hits, we actually fear for the life of the dog until the literal last second of the video.
Riders come charging down a sprint lane as some jackass lets their dog off a leash, thinking that this time it'll totally be okay, the dog won't wander off into the middle of the race... until it does.
The rider does a front flip onto nearby grass (where luckily, there was no poop) as the dog limps around.
After this, the dog limps sheepishly for a bit and we think the dog is somewhere lying down in a ditch somewhere, making all of us cry.
Then we see in the last second and a half that the dog is scared out of its mind, but thankfully strong enough to run away from its new enemies: cyclists and stupid owners.
During times like these, it is hard not to think of the Baja Men and it's hard not to ponder their age old question which would solve any problem the Tour de France ever had with dogs. Because if they could answer this question they could fine or arrest those parties responsible for these outrages.
5. Face Plant At 60 MPH
Helmets are welcome in most races... and this is why.
Jens Voigt took a really nasty high-speed fall during the Tour de France 2009.
He ended up in the hospital in critical condition after this crash, as they were going at speeds higher than a car would on a freeway.
Not only did this poor guy land on his face, but he slid for YARDS (or "meters") on his face (good thing he was wearing a helmet!), knees and arms as if he were being dragged by a rope behind a car.
Luckily, though, he missed what would have been the most tragic occurrence and didn't fall off the CLIFF THAT WAS JUST A FEW FEET AWAY from him.
6. Rene Vietto Sacrifices A Bike, Win (1934)
This item isn't quite about an "awesome" or "amazing" crash, but the heroism and humanity that a crash inspired.
In 1934, Rene Vietto, a rider starting as a support for his team dazzled everyone by winning 4 different Stages. He was surely becoming the tour's newest star, proudly competing next to his idol, teammate and Lance Armstrong of his time Antonin Magne.
During the 16th stage of the Tour, Vietto was on track to become the Tour leader in wins and was destined for greatness... until he heard that Magne suffered a crash somewhere near the beginning of the stage.
He rode back up the mountain he had just conquered into a pack of speeding riders heading in his direction, riding against the stream towards his famous teammate.
Once he got there, he handed Magne his own bicycle.
Vietto's chances of winning the Tour were gone, but Magne actually did ended up winning that year. Vietto won best climber that year.
Pictured left is Vietto, crying over his potential win, suffering the consequences of being a hero. A great man.
7. Dog Takes Down MULTIPLE Riders (2010)
If you see the rest of this list, you'll see that dogs take down competitors in the Tour de France on the regular.
Dog's don't care, they do whatever they want.
A car? Pfft, no big deal. Bikes?! Yeah, they can take that lying down and not even wake up.
This particular dog makes the list, though, because unlike any of the other famous videos of dogs taking down a rider on the Tour de France, this dog's out-count TRIPLES any other dog's.
Easily taking down at least 4 cyclists, this dog takes the cake for the most destructive puppy the Tour de France has ever seen.
8. The Flying Bike (2008)
During the 2008 Tour de France, during Stage 13, a cyclist tripped on something on the road, which sent his bike up into the air, then split the bike in half. He landed yards (or "meters") away from the bike itself and was somehow not run over and somehow didn't take ANYONE with him.
An epic fall for sure, and probably among the most brutal in the 2008 Tour de France.
9. Crowd Pleaser (1991)
Bonus points for audience participation!
This "Abdu Crash" video from 1991's Tour de France sounds more like an obstacle from the popular 90s Nickelodeon show "GUTS", but that's just this YouTuber's shortening of the awesome name of the cyclist in the green who wipes out named Djamolidine Abdujaparov.
It's always sad when a tragedy like this strikes so close to glory. The poor guy took himself out, as well as a few others, during the FINAL stage of the Tour de France in 1991.
00:48 to see him start to pick up speed where he possibly could've taken the lead, only to fall after crashing into what looks like either a spectator or an officer.
10. Lance Amrstrong's Instincts RULE (2003)
After a pretty brutal slip and slide on the part of one of his contenders, Lance Armstrong, who would have tripped and fallen over this guy's bike had he not done this, decided to take the easy road, cutting off many of his opponents the process by going offroading.
Not sure why this is legal, but it sure is a pretty sweet move on Lance Armstrong's part because not only did he not lose speed, he actually forged ahead in the race.
11. Lance Armstrong Falls (2010)
In July of 2010, during Stage 8 of the Tour de France, Lance Armstrong, 7 time Tour champion, suffered a crash at the start of a game along with a slew of other riders, showing that it is quite sadly possible that Lance Armstrong may very well be at the tail end of his career.
Check out the video to see him tumbling down a hill during a race and then falling down in the middle of a runway.
He still got up faster than everyone else, but it's sad to see the mighty fall.
12. Ruining A Record (2007)
The worst part about this isn't that he introduced his face to its new best friend, "The Pavement", but that the guy involved, Vladimir Gusev, was about to set the new best time for this part of the race and would have had it not been for this crash.
Sometimes it isn't in the crash itself, but the damage it does afterward.
13. Burghardt Hits A Dog (2007)
During a Stage of the 2007 Tour de France, Burghardt a cyclist who was just starting out in the race, hit a dog because it was left, nay, UNLEASHED onto the cyclists by a negligent owner.
Thankfully the dog is fine. Which is apparently all the camera man cared about because, if you watch the whole thing, the cameraman follows the cute little dog as it seals its own fate, then captures the spill between the cyclist and the animal.
After the cyclist falls flat on their knee, you see the cameraman barely pause to see if they're okay, but follows the dog until we see it running along a person who looks like they're going to help it.
The dog was fine and the spill was awesome, so all was well with the world. Here's why it was awesome:
Just to check out the kind of instincts you have on cyclists in the Tour de France, though, check out how, even in mid air, the rider manages to spread his legs so he doesn't knee the dog, landing then on his knees instead of his face.
14. Slippery When Wet (2007)
In 2007, Cancellara fell on the road after ALMOST falling throughout pretty much every turn on the race due to extreme weather conditions (at least for a bike race where there are many sharp turns).
He aaaalmost bites it, then he doesn't, he almooooooooooost wipes out, but then he doesn't. He finally crashes during his third attempt at a ridiculous turn, along with a news motorcycle who was following him the whole time.
15. Over Then Under (2006)
Aren't guard rails supposed to "guard" you?
Although this 24 second video ends with what sounds like the announcer calling the victims of this accident douches, these guys are anything but (and the guy is speaking in French, so he was probably saying something about showers).
During the 2006 Tour de France, an American (yep, that's right, an American, how embarrassing) completely wiped out during a race, taking the rider behind him with, and then forcing him to do a full front flip over the guard rail onto the lush, beautiful, green French country side.
This article was republished with permission from Ranker.com. If you like lists—whether you're reading them or making your own—you'll like Ranker. You should visit them.