Riders share harrowing detail of ‘distressed faces, bruised bodies’ in Liège-Bastogne-Liège crash

Romain Bardet, Jérémy Cabot, and Rigoberto Urán recall horror pile-up, call for collective responsibility for safety in the peloton.

Photo: Getty Images

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Shocked riders shared harrowing detail of the mass crash that decimated the peloton at Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Romain Bardet, Jérémy Cabot, and Rigoberto Urán all posted messages or video giving insight into the mass pile-up that conditioned the final of Sunday’s monument and left a stack of riders in the infirmary.

“It’s still hard to put into words the events of yesterday, the distress of the faces and bruised bodies after that fall,” Bardet wrote on Twitter on Monday.

An emotional Bardet had recalled to VeloNews soon after the race Sunday how he had gone to assist a stricken Julian Alaphilippe after the world champion was catapulted into a ditch by the multi-rider crash.

The DSM rider later made an impassioned statement calling for shared responsibility and respect in the high-risk, high-stakes world of modern bike racing.

“I think of Julian, but also all the guys badly affected who saw their lives flash before their eyes when at 70kph the roar of the peloton was replaced by chaos, the sound of equipment exploding and the cries that rang out,” he wrote.

“This has made me reflect on our shared responsibilities to avoid these types of accidents that could be tragic, on the respect that we must afford between riders.”

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Sunday’s high-speed crash saw dozens of riders on the deck when a touch of wheels on a narrow road exploded the tightly-packed peloton.

Alaphilippe, Cabot, Urán, and four other EF Education-EasyPost riders were among those soon to exit the race with injury.

TotalEnergies racer Cabot was later discovered to have fractured his collarbone after being at the epicenter of the crash. The Frenchman took to Twitter to share his first-person perspective.

“I was indeed the first rider to fall, a rider who was trying to force his way in came from behind me when I was completely on the right-hand side of the road,” Cabot wrote.

“There was not a place for two people in that spot. My wheel touched that of the rider in front of me and I didn’t have time to brake. And chaos. All happened in less than a second.”

EF Education-EasyPost was the team most impacted, with five of the team’s pink jerseys being in the close orbit of the impact and subsequently forced to abandon with a range of injuries.

Urán went on to share a video filmed in the team bus that laid bare the brutal reality of the dangers inherent to high-risk modern racing. Bloodied-up bodies and written-off team kits were a theme of the Colombian’s post.

Bardet went on to call for racers to remain mindful of their shared role in keeping racing safe.

“The responsibility that we have when we take risks to get to the front of the peloton can have severe consequences for the 100 guys who are behind us,” Bardet wrote.

“I’m not throwing blame at anyone, and I know the truth even less. It’s just that we put our body and soul into a sport, we have a passion for racing that can in a flash turn tragic and hinder the beauty of the sport.”


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