Elia Viviani was taken to hospital after being struck by a motorbike on the Arenberg cobbled sector at Paris-Roubaix

Team Sky’s Elia Viviani appears to have escaped with minor injuries after being hit by a motorbike at high speed on the Arenberg cobbled sector at Paris-Roubaix.

British fan Guy W captured the footage as the riders entered the Arenberg sector, with huge crash causing the peloton to come to a halt.

Viviani looked to be off the back of the group and was slowing down when he was hit from behind by the motorbike, to the horror of the crowd watching on.

Fortunately for the Italian only his leg was trapped under the fallen bike, although he was sent into the metal barriers at the side of the road with some force.


Team Sky sports director Servais Knaven discusses Ian Stannard’s podium finish at Paris-Roubaix


Sky sports director Servais Knaven told reporters that Viviani was taken to hospital nearby.

“We lost Viviani in Arenberg so hopefully they make something out of it because he was hit by a motorbike,” he said.

“If you go in the Arenberg there should not be any motorbikes near the riders. He was in the second group with [Peter] Sagan and [Fabian] Cancellara – at the moment he is in hospital. He looks all right, nothing serious we think but you never know.

“Just the way it happened, some spectator told me then he told me myself so I think that’s a bad thing. They hit Elia or someone else and he landed in the fences.”

The incident comes just two weeks after Wanty-Groupe Gobert’s Antoine Démoitie died after being struck by a motorcycle at Ghent-Wevelgem.

A Trek-Segafredo rider who was near Viviani can be heard on the video asking why the motorbike rider was so close to the riders going onto the dangerous cobbled sector at high speed.

  • may sound a bit outlandish – but could drones be used??

  • exactly!!!!

  • Chris

    Rupert, you worry me a little with your projected time scale, “as the year progresses” . What does that equate to in injured riders? Let us pray there is not another death. I am sorry to disagree, but the current situation can be controlled by the UCI, and who is the figurehead of the UCI?. I see no evidence that anything is being done. I think it is necessary for all of us to apply whatever pressure we can to ensure that Mr Cookson does the job he is generously paid to do.

  • Rupert the Super Bear

    I usually find myself in accord with your comments Chris – we’re both British bikies of the same sort of vintage. But you have to be realistic here – there have been motorbikes in cycle races for decades, they’re part of the fabric. But what can Brian do? Wave a magic wand? Bike racing exists for people to watch, it’s a spectacle and a bloody good one at that. Hopefully as the year progresses the UCI will use it’s imagination and create some new working protocols that will make racing actually safer. It must be possible, even if it can’t be done on the spot right now.

    Yesterday’s motorbike rider messed up big time and thank god Viviani survived. Meanwhile having some sort of personal campaign against Brian Cookson is pointless and – please forgive me – ever so slightly childish.

  • Ted Noneman

    Yes, the “Hey asshole” introduction sort of gives it away lol

  • Declan Bowler

    I was wondering the same, sounds like an american to me, which should narrow it down

  • Chris

    What has he done that can be considered effective on this matter?

  • Rupert the Super Bear

    Rubbish, he’s a good man. Give the fellow a break.

  • Christoph Button

    Does someone know who the trek rider that confront the motorcyclist are?

  • Lperdido

    An all out rider strike is the only thing that will garner the attention needed to stop this. As a fan I would gladly forego the upcoming Ardenes classics to engender the riders with the necessary clout needed here.

  • JoshLyons

    Even yesterday in the tour of the Basque country final TT the motorbikes were following riders on the descent in the pouring rain far too close for comfort. This really needs to be brought under control by the UCI.

  • gr1nch

    If ever immediate action was required it’s zero tolerance and measures preventing bikes/cars hitting riders.

  • gr1nch

    The UCI is not stopping motorbikes hitting riders. One rider already killed – which is still shocking and 100% unacceptable – so where is the duty of care to riders? The teams should take a class action to force UCI to implement clear changes, including enforcement, e.g. with police bikes providing safe zones the sh*t commercial/support bikes can not enter under any circumstances.

  • Sam Hocking

    The moto shouldn’t even be there. Reducing numbers has nothing to do with this incident. UCI rules already exist about where he shouldn’t be and he shouldn’t be behind G2 like that.

  • llos25

    Mr Cookson is out of his depths should never ever be in his job.

  • Chris

    Well Mr Cookson, your decision to create a committee to consider the possibility of holding an enquiry into reducing the number of Moto’s has had an immediate effect on rider safety!

  • Liz Miller

    This HAS to stop now. The speed that moto was going into the cobbles, and so close to the riders, was inexcusable. We have had one death (maybe not because of the moto, but surely not helped by it) and we say ‘enough is enough’