A speedbump positioned on the final corner of stage two of the Tour Cycliste International La Provence in France unsurprisingly caused a crash as riders hit the obstacle at full tilt.
The peloton rounded the corner at the end of the 180-kilometre stage, hitting the bump at top speed. Although Etixx-QuickStep‘s Davide Martinelli and Fernando Gaviria made it over the obstacle unscathed, the following rider was not so lucky and was sent crashing to the floor and into the barriers.
Several other riders subsequently fell, but there were remarkably few casualties given the speed of the race at that point.
Some had commented on the positioning of the speed bump and its proximity to both the corner and finish line prior to the incident.
Martinelli had been leading out sprinter Gaviria, but as the pair realised what had happened behind them, Gaviria eased off to let Martinelli enjoy his first victory as a professional.
“In the finale I was at the front, as my job was to lead Fernando,” said Martinelli. “I came out of the last corner in first position with Fernando on my wheel, and when I took a look over my shoulder I saw that it was only me and him, as some riders have crashed.
“We had a good gap, looked one another in the eyes and agreed on the outcome, so Fernando gave me the win. He was class act and I can’t thank him enough for this. I will rest now and on Thursday I will give it my best to repay Fernando.”
Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie) maintained his overall lead in the race after finishing safely in the pack. The veteran Frenchman took a solo victory on stage one to earn the leader’s jersey.
It’s the first edition of the UCI 2.1-ranked Tour La Provence, which concludes on Thursday, February 25 with a stage tipped to finish with a bunch sprint.