Gerolsteiner furious with McEwenClose
Gerolsteiner blast the Australian for his behaviour in the aftermath of Friday's pile-up a kilometreIt's perhaps understandable that Team Gerolsteiner might feel as if they are dogged by ill luck. After losing Ren Haselbacher, who came off worst in the huge crash at the one kilometre mark on Friday's stage, Sven Montgomery became the next Gerolsteiner rider to crash out, when on Saturday's stage he broke a collarbone. But what has really angered the German camp has been the abuse Haselbacher had to take from Robbie McEwen while the Austrian was still lying suffering on the tarmac, writes Susanne Horsdal. "When you're lying on the road with broken bones and have abuse shouted at you, it's beneath contempt. McEwen doesn't have any friends and certainly won't make any if he continues like this," said an enraged Peter Wrolich, Haselbacher's team-mate, in an interview with Austrian television channel ORF. "I've informed the Lotto-Domo team and the race organisation of McEwen's disgraceful occurrence. Whoever gives way to his lowest instincts should be sent home," said Gerolsteiner team manager Hans-Michael Holczer. Following an official complaint from Holczer to the Tour de France management and the Lotto-Domo team, McEwen apologised for his faux pas. McEwen, who crashed right behind Haselbacher, had apparantly accused the Austrian of causing the crash, but the Gerolsteiner rider actually had no chance of avoiding it when his handlebars broke as the bunch was going at 60kph. Once he was able to speak again to the media again, Haselbacher didn't hold back when giving his opinion on McEwen. "I'd rather never see him again. He can kiss my ass. We were never friends but now he's really non-existent to me," Haselbacher said in an interview with the German website Sport1. From his hospital bed in Angers where the Gerolsteiner rider is nursing a broken nose, three broken ribs - one of them making it hard to breathe and speak because it's pressing on one lung - in addition to bleeding from the liver and the kidneys, Haselbacher explains what happened: "I was passing Bernhard Eisel on the left-hand side. As I stood up in the saddle I heard this crack and I was holding my handlebars in two pieces. Then I was thrown into the barrier. I probably broke my ribs on the foot of one the barriers. I was lying on the ground, the doctor holding my head, when McEwen came up to me and screamed in my face: 'You're doing the same shit as last year.' "But it really wasn't my fault. In the amateur video one can see that I'm really not touching anyone. Had I been able to stand up, I would have smacked him one," says Haselbacher, who continues: "I've never met anyone as unsportsmanlike as McEwen. I hope he doesn't win the green jersey, because one thing is clear: this small man will never be a great athlete." Despite the injuries, Haselbacher hopes to be able to leave hospital on Monday.