Three riders forced to abandon after incident

The opening stage of the Four Days of Dunkirk was disrupted by a large crash which took down half the field and blocked the road.

The incident occurred with 22km remaining on the stage from Dunkirk to Iwuy, with a Direct Energie rider near the front of the bunch appearing to clip the wheel of the Lotto-Soudal rider in front of him, falling to the right and taking out an FDJ rider to trigger a chain reaction.

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A large number of riders were brought down in the crash with bodies and bikes blocking the road, leaving only around 40 riders at the front of the race with Lotto-Soudal’s Jens Debusschere eventually taking the win.

Thankfully only three riders were forced to abandon the race as a result of the crash, with Stijn Vandenbergh (Ag2r La Mondiale) suffering concussion and Frederik Frison (Lotto-Soudal) suffering injuries to his hip and ribs.