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A major crash at the front of the peloton caused major havoc in Liège-Bastogne-Liège with several pre-race favorites taken down and many of them forced to abandon the race Sunday.
The crash occurred with just under 60km to go on a narrow descent. Those involved included Julian Alaphilippe, Tom Pidcock, Rigoberto Urán, and Brandon McNulty. Alaphilippe was forced to leave the race in an ambulance but was reported to be conscious after the crash.
The scenes on the roadside were distressing, with Romain Bardet instantly climbing down a ditch to check on the state of the world champion.
— Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team (@qst_alphavinyl) April 24, 2022
At the time of the crash, the Bahrain-Victorious team was on the front of the peloton as it looked to build the pace ahead of the next climb. There appeared to be a touch of wheels on the right-hand side of the bunch with one rider forced onto the grass and an Ineos rider —believed to be Pidcock — crashing into a shallow ditch on the side of the road.
With the crash so close to the front of the bunch, and with the pace so high, there was little room for the riders near the front or in the middle of the pack to avoid the falling riders.
Enric Mas and Marc Soler were also among those who went down. They formed a chase group with Pidcock, who was lucky to escape major injury. Bob Jungels, Alejandro Valverde, Geraint Thomas, and Bauke Mollema were also among those caught out and forced to chase back on.