June 14, 2004
McEwen takes Suisse stage
Robbie McEwen took a sprint win Sunday, with Olaf Pollack 2nd and Robert Hunter of New Zealand 3rd. Jan Ullrich retained his overall lead, but his race strategy will have to change as his teammate, defending Tour of Switzerland champion Alexandre Vinokourov, crashed out, suffering a concussion.
Vinokourov finished 3rd in last year's Tour de France, and was expected to play a leading role in T-Mobile's Tour strategy, along with Ullrich.
Vinokourov crashed out when he hit a traffic island at something north of 30 mph. He apparently came down face-first, suffering a concussion, facial scrapes, and injuries to his shoulder and hand, but no broken bones.
Ullrich criticized tour organizers for what he called inadequate course control:
"After this fast stage I don't understand why the finishing circuit was not properly marshalled like it should be for an top level international tour. Alexandre became a victim of the chaos. Instead of being able to attack with me in the coming stages, he is now lying in hospital. That is annoying."
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