"CSC roared down the final, twisting descent into Blois through a series of sharp S-turns but the team split coming through the final corner. A small gap of perhaps 15 feet opened between the leading riders and Zabriskie, Roberts and Ivan Basso.
Zabriskie stood out of the saddle and glanced over his right shoulder. And then disaster struck. His front wheel slipped out and the yellow jersey went careening to the asphalt.
The actual caused of his crash wasn't certain. The roads were dry and it appears Zabriskie didn't puncture, and Roberts said Zabriskie didn't clip a wheel. "I'm not sure what happened, whether his chain jumped or his foot slipped. We were accelerating after coming through the corner and maybe it threw him off-balance," Roberts said. "It's just bad luck for Dave. It's an awful situation for him."
Zabriskie fell hard on his left side, narrowly missing the fenced barriers and a French policeman standing just inside the course, who was forced to jump out of the way when Zabriskie's red bike went clanging past.
Roberts and Basso narrowly avoided crashing into either Zabriskie or his bike. The two frantically chased back on.
"It was a miracle that Luke and I didn't crash into Dave's bike," Basso said. "We have to accept what happened and it's too bad for Dave. Now I am 1:26 down on Armstrong, but this Tour doesn't start for me until the Alps."
Zabriskie got a bike change and rode alone across the line, his yellow jersey ripped and torn with blood on his elbow, shoulders, hip and knee. Team doctors gave Zabriskie two stitches inside the team bus. Subsequent X-rays showed no broken bones.
Later, the young American said, "I'm not happy with what happened but that's life. I'm extremely disappointed because we were very, very close to winning the stage and I was close to keeping the yellow jersey."
Riis said, "I don't know how it happened. We had six seconds on Discovery with two kilometers to go. The others waited to see what would happen and I yelled at them to keep going to the finish as fast as they can, not to wait. If Dave hadn't crashed, we could have won the stage."Seems to be pretty unlucky for Dave, as he'll be one sore rider in tomorrow's stage. I'm glad to hear, though, that he's mostly alright and will be pushing on.