OUDENAARDE, Belgium (VN) – Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies), Tim Wellens (UAE Team Emirates), and Ben Turner (Ineos Grenadiers) were some of the worst-hit victims of a mass pileup at the Tour of Flanders.
A huge crash 141km from the finish Sunday forced former De Ronde champion Sagan out of his last start at the Tour of Flanders before retirement.
Tadej Pogačar and Tom Pidcock also both lost top teammates, with Wellens and Turner abandoning after an incident that saw scores of riders held up or hitting the deck.
A ripple of groans emerged out of the watching press room when Filip Maciejuk (Bahrain-Victorious) caused the huge domino-like crash in the peloton as the race sped toward the first passage of the Oude Kwarement.
— Ronde van Vlaanderen (@RondeVlaanderen) April 2, 2023
Replays showed the 23-year-old moving up the outside of the bunch on the left-hand verge. He then hit a grass patch and pot-hole, lost control of his bike, and wheeled wildly into the middle of the charging peloton. Riders came crumbling down behind him.
Trek-Segafredo co-captain Jasper Stuyven and Soudal Quick-Step leader Julian Alaphilippe were both impacted but able to rejoin the bunch. Alaphilippe however was spotted holding his wrist in pain before getting back on his bike.
Maciejuk was later disqualified by race jurors for his dangerous maneuver.
“I’m really sorry for my mistake and causing the crash today,” Maciejuk wrote in a tweet not long after the crash. “I hope all those involved are in good health and safe. This should not happen and was a big error in my judgment.”
Stay tuned to VeloNews for updates on the Tour of Flanders.