Tour de France: Crash could prompt legal action

Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford refused to rule out the possibility of taking legal action as Tour de France organisers and French police today continued investigations into the incident which saw Juan Antonio Flecha hit by a car.

Flecha was in the five-man breakaway 35 kilometres from the end of yesterday's 208km ninth stage from Issoire to Saint-Flour when he was struck by a French television vehicle, slamming to the tarmac and knocking fellow escapee Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil) off the road and into a barbed wire fence.



Tour organisers Amaury Sports Organisation excluded the car for the remainder of the race and have opened an investigation, while police are making enquiries and gathering statements.



Team Sky are co-operating fully with the investigation into the incident which could see further ramifications.



Speaking at the Team Sky hotel in the Massif Central on today's rest day, Brailsford said: "It was plain for everyone to see - that crash shouldn't have happened.



"Everybody saw it, everyone saw the severity of it so I don't think we need to fan the flames of that anymore.



"Once you've got the facts then you can decide and evaluate whether there's an opportunity for the police to do something.



"There are different options available.



"We need to have a clear picture of what those options are before we then decide which one we may or may not wish to pursue.



"We're jumping ahead of ourselves if we start talking about options - we've got to determine what they are first."



Asked specifically about the possibility of legal proceedings, Brailsford added: "All the options includes anything you can think of.



"All the options is all the options."



The collision yesterday was the second incident involving a vehicle travelling with the race, after last Wednesday Danish rider Nicki Sorensen (Saxo Bank-SunGard) crashed after brushing a photographer's motorbike.



Brailsford said the investigation was important to ensure such an accident is not repeated and insisted Team Sky's discussions with ASO, race director Christian Prudhomme, the French television station and law enforcement agencies will remain private.



He added: "There's a lot going on, but for us it's behind closed doors. "That's what we'll do quietly. It's not something we'll do in the public domain."



Flecha's first reaction after tumbling to the tarmac was to get back on his bike.



He said: "It was instinct. The first thing as a cyclist you do is look for your bike and to go again.



"The fork was broken, I was bleeding everywhere, I saw Johnny lying there.



"It took a while to realise. I took my spare bike and then I started feeling myself, my elbow was getting swollen and my knee was bleeding."



Despite today being a rest day, all the cyclists go out for a ride to keep their bodies ticking over.



Flecha, though, was unable to join his seven Team Sky colleagues - leader Bradley Wiggins having already returned home with a fractured collarbone - after travelling to hospital for X-rays.



The Spaniard feared he had suffered a fractured elbow, but scans were clear and he plans to start tomorrow's 158km 10th stage from Aurillac to Carmaux.



Flecha said: "Tomorrow I'll be able to ride, how well I don't know but I really don't care.



"At first I want to see how everything goes. I'm thinking more long term.



"I'm more concerned about the Pyrenees. I can't bypass the Pyrenees."



Flecha received a phone call from Prudhomme this morning while he was at the hospital and has had one stitch on a cut sustained on his knee.



The wound required further treatment, but further dressing would restrict Flecha's ability to peddle.



He added: "I can't say it's good. I can just say it's looking okay.



"There are many different types of crashes but that was something you don't expect - it shouldn't happen.



"I was having lots of fun in this Tour and enjoying it a lot. I was doing well so far.



"I hope I can keep enjoying the race the way I have been doing so far."

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Solutions Architect - Permanent - London - £70k DOE

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

General Cover Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: Great opportunities for Cover...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?