Lance Armstrong abandons Tour of California after crash

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Lance Armstrong dropped out of the 2010 Amgen Tour of California early in Thursday's Stage 5 not long after crashing.

About 15 cyclists went down just 4 miles after leaving Visalia for the 121-mile stage to Bakersfield.

According to text commentary from news sources, Armstrong received medical treatment at the scene of the accident and returned to the peloton with teammates from RadioShack. Cyclists from HTC-Columbia, BMC Racing, Fly V Australia and Rabobank all were involved in the crash.

At about mile 13, Armstrong stopped, climbed into the team car, and left the race. Johan Bruyneel reported at his Twitter account that Armstrong would be heading to the hospital for X-rays.

It was later reported that Armstrong received stitches to his left elbow and under his left eye. The cut under his eye appeared to be bleeding when he got into the car, and his face was a little swollen. Armstrong wrote at his Twitter page:

“I'm alive. Fell face first and banged elbow pretty good. Xrays on the elbow were neg. Extremely disappointed not to be able 2 continue.”

Bad morning

The crash occurred about 11 a.m., about an hour after Armstrong and Bruyneel held a press conference to reject doping accusations leveled by former teammate Floyd Landis that appeared this morning.

Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo) and Stuart O'Grady (Saxo Bank) also abandoned after the crash.

Armstrong's goals at the Tour of California were to improve his conditioning for the Tour de France in July and help teammate Levi Leipheimer earn his fourth Tour of California championship. He was ranked 18th overall in the race and had helped launch Leipheimer up the Bonny Doon climb in Stage 3.

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