The graying of the Tour of California

Youngster Mark Cavendish (center) won the Sacramento stage of the Tour of California.

Youngster Mark Cavendish (center) won the Sacramento stage of the Tour of California.

It’s really a compliment to riders like Jens Voigt, Chris Horner, George Hincapie, three-time race champion Levi Leipheimer and a fellow named Lance Armstrong, but with all due respect, the pro peloton is getting a little gray.

Armstrong, 38, keeps his hair close-cropped, so it’s hard to decipher his exact hair color.

Voigt, the veteran German rider who has many international victories in his long career, has finished second and fourth overall at the Tour of California. He’ll be 39 in September, one day older than Armstrong.

Voigt also still has the capacity to win bicycle races, sometimes against cyclists nearly half his age.

Last year, he suffered a horrible accident during the Tour de France. In addition to multiple injuries, Voigt lost consciousness. While on the mend, he briefly considered retirement, then dismissed it.

“After my crash, yes I thought about [retiring] a bit, but that’s not my way to go out,” said Voigt. “When I came-to more, I knew that I wanted to go out for myself. It wouldn’t want to be bitter the rest of my life if I stopped like that over a silly little accident.”

—James Raia

Sounds of a bike crash

Check out Sound Advice’s footage of the George Hincapie and Tom Boonen crash on the final turn of stage one, Tour of California, on Sunday, May 16 in Sacramento.

This went down on just past Crepeville on L Street between 17th and 18th streets. Look for the man in the blue collared shirt. You’re not even supposed to stand on the road, but he gets way too far out there trying to take photos. I hope he wasn’t responsible for the accident. Very unfortunate.

Mark Cavendish ended up winning stage one, but some major sprinters were involved in this crash.

Listen for the L Street church bells.

—Sound Advice