Roglic, Evenepoel involved in massive crash at Dauphine race, organizers neutralize stage

LYON, France (AP) — Tour de France favorites Remco Evenepoel and Primoz Roglic hit the ground at high speed after getting caught up in a massive crash Thursday at the Criterium du Dauphine race that led organizers to neutralize the stage.

Evenepoel, a two-time world champion from Belgium, and Roglic were both able to get back to their feet before organizers decided that the stage wouldn’t count. Evenepoel leads the general standings ahead his Slovenian rival, the Olympic gold medalist.

Evenepoel’s Soudal Quick-Step team later posted a picture of the Belgian rider, with the caption “Remco is home” alongside an icon of a flexed biceps.

Evenepoel told reporters after the race he escaped without fractures.

“It was like bowling,” he said. “From the left side there was a bike that came under my back wheel. As I was breaking I just went, like a front flip, and landed on my head and my shoulder. It was a pretty big bang.”

Evenepoel returned to competition at the Criterium. He needed surgery earlier this season after breaking a collar bone and shoulder blade during a race in Spain.

“I fell on my shoulder again and I think it’s bleeding so we have to see what that will say. We’ll have to see tonight but in the end, everything felt quite all right,” he added. “Everybody was fighting for position for the descent like always. It was the last tricky part of the course so it was going well for us all day in the front. And then some guys started to slide just in front of me.”

Roglic’s Bora–Hansgrohe team said all of its riders got back on their bikes to reach the finish in the town of Saint-Priest. Roglic said he was not sure whether he would keep on racing this week.

“The only thing is, I crashed on my shoulder, that is not the best, that I had surgery on a couple of years ago,” he said. “We really need to check it and be sure in what kind of state it is.”

Dutch cyclist Steven Kruijswijk went into the race ambulance after the crash. Organizers said his teammate Dylan van Baarle was also hurt, apparently suffering from a shoulder injury.

The riders who went down rode at high speed when the accident took place in a downhill on a wet road with about 21 kilometers left of Stage 5.

Organizers said they decided to neutralize the stage — meaning the times won’t count toward the overall standings — because of a shortage of ambulances.

“The race is neutralized, there will not be times taken at the finish and no winner in this stage,” organizers said.

The Criterium du Dauphine is a warm-up event for the Tour de France, which starts on June 29.


AP sports:

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