SPA, Belgium — Blood was seeping from Andy Schleck, from his arms and legs and off some parts of his brother Frank too.
On a rainy, slippery Belgian road the brothers from Luxembourg splattered themselves across the pavement, caught up in one of several crashes in Monday's second stage of the Tour de France.
After some minutes Andy Schleck, among the favorites, rose slowly. He was cradling his arm and climbed back on his bike as if propelled by remote control and not his senses.
Andy Schleck wasn't the only race favorite to crash. Almost all of them did, including seven-time winner Lance Armstrong, who had a bloody thigh and elbow to show for his meeting with the pavement and four members of the Colorado-based Garmin-Transitions team.
Frenchman Sylvain Chavenal, who rides for Quick Step, a Belgian team, won the stage and took over possession of the leader's yellow jersey. He led almost from start to finish on the 125-mile stage from Brussels to Spa.
Armstrong is fifth overall, 3 minutes, 19 seconds behind and defending champ Alberto Contador of Astana is seventh, five seconds behind Armstrong.
"I've never seen anything like that," Armstrong said. "As I got up and got going again it was a bit surreal. … I got some good abrasions. It was so slippery that there was not much impact, some swelling but mostly road rash."
Armstrong's team is intact, but Garmin-Transitions was left decimated. Team leader Christian Vande Velde of Lemont, Ill., is out of the race and was one of three Garmin riders who ended up at a local hospital. He finished the stage with two broken ribs. Tyler Farrar fractured his left wrist and Julian Dean bruised his upper back.
"Riders crashed in front of me and I wasn't able to avoid them so I went down," Vande Velde said. "I felt okay and got back on. Then another rider lost control and, again, I couldn't avoid it. I crashed and landed in a ditch."