On Saturday, Dutch cyclist Laurens ten Dam became the latest Tour de France rider to earn semi-household name status for crashing, after he took a face-first dive in Stage 14 and finished the day's effort with a mangled grill. He not only finished the stage but he was able to bounce back and start Stage 15 the next day with no problems other than a mild inability to eat food. Unfortunately, whereas Johnny Hoogerland’s barbed wire tangle last week earned him intermediate “that’s pretty metal” status, we can’t yet afford ten Dam the same luxury.
It turns out that ten Dam has a bit of a reputation for accidents. In addition to this weekend’s spill, ten Dam missed last year’s Tour de France because of a serious accident at the 2010 Tour de Suisse, in which he broke two vertebrae, fractured his wrist and chin, and suffered a severe concussion. Only a few months before that, ten Dam crashed and injured his hip and head in the final stage of the Ruta del Sol. In 2009, ten Dam was part of a big crash at the the Vuelta a Espana race, as he injured his back but was able to continue on.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you see Laurens ten Dam riding a bike, cross the street.
That's ten Dam on the right in the orange jersey, sitting down in the middle of all those cyclists.