“Luck hasn’t been on my side this year,” said Vande Velde after the stage. “I went down in the big crash with 500 meters. I crashed into the guys who went down first, then into a fire hydrant — but it could have been a lot worse.”
Being a home-grown midwest boy, Vande Velde did not want anything to prevent him from racing near his home and defending his title from 2008. “Racing is going to be painful but I’m the defending champion and continuing is important to me and my team. I’ll be at the start tomorrow.”
Vande Velde took the start of stage 2, leading the peloton on the opening neutral laps of Saint Genvieve, Mo. However, the pain proved to be too much and VDV had to abandon the race.
He spoke with Cycle.To before the start of the stage: