VISALIA, Calif. -- Lance Armstrong crashed during the Tour of California on Thursday, sending him to the hospital for precautionary
X-rays on the day he was accused of doping by former teammate Floyd
The cyclists were on a two-lane road outside Visalia a few miles into the race when a rider in the main group
skidded on some gravel and fell, causing others, including Armstrong,
to crash. Armstrong resumed riding but had to quit the race because of
"I tried to give it a go but my eye was swollen so I couldn't see properly and the pain in the elbow prevented me from
holding the bars for the remainder of the stage," Armstrong said. "It
was a relief to learn there were no breaks. I will take a few days to
recover and be on the bike as soon as possible."
Michael Rogers of Australia moved into the overall lead with his second-place finish in
the 121.5-mile fifth stage that ran from Visalia to Bakersfield. Dave
Zabriskie was third in the stage and second overall.
"Obviously, I woke up this morning and heard the news like everybody else did,"
Rogers said of Landis' accusations. "I came here to win this race, and
that's what I concentrated on during the race. I didn't think of
anything else but." Armstrong strongly denied the accusations.
Levi Leipheimer, the three-time defending race titlist, is third in the
standings, trailing by 10 seconds. Armstrong's Radio Shack teammate also
was accused by Landis of doping.
Peter Sagan of Slovakia won the stage in 4 hours, 52 minutes and 58 seconds, and is fourth, 15 seconds back.
Team spokesman Philippe Maertens said Armstrong was evaluated in the team bus by doctors who gave him eight stitches below
his left eye. Armstrong then was taken to Bakersfield Memorial Hospital
for precautionary X-rays, which were negative.