Nacer Bouhanni (Arkéa-Samsic) suffered a fracture of the first cervical vertebra on stage two of the Tour of Turkey, after he and several other riders collided with a pedestrian mindlessly walking in the middle of the road.
One spectator captured the dramatic incident on video, sharing the footage to Twitter. Spectators are heard shouting to try and alert the unaware pedestrian walking on the course with their back to the oncoming peloton, before one roadside fan attempts to pull them out of harm's way.
However, four riders were unable to avoid the two people, crashing hard into them with 61km left in the race. Mirco Maestri (Eolo-Kometa) collided with the two spectators first, with Bouhanni, Kévin Ledanois (Arkéa-Samsic) and Manuel Peñalver (Burgos-BH) unable to avoid the situation.
🚴🇹🇷 | Bij deze bizarre valpartij loopt Bouhanni een gebroken halswervel op... Desondanks is hij redelijk oké. Absurd dat iemand zo op de weg kan lopen met een peloton op komst... 💥😱 #TUR2022 @RenaudB31 pic.twitter.com/a1x4tXXjcbApril 12, 2022
While Bouhanni suffered a fractured cervical vertebra, his team-mate Ledanois managed to finish the stage. He won't take to the start line on stage three, though, after retrospectively sustaining an injury to his left knee and struggling with thoracic spine pain.
Arkéa-Samsic confirmed the news on Twitter, stating: "Following a fall in the peloton, Nacer Bouhanni was taken to hospital and abandoned the Tour of Turkey. Kévin Ledanois also present in the fall, was able to start again."
Maestri also continued, albeit with some severe road rash, tweeting: "Sometimes you just have to get up and push harder than ever... thinking it doesn't hurt".
Unfortunately, Peñalver required surgery for a broken elbow.
Meanwhile, Arkéa-Samsic's day seemed to go from bad to worse, with GC hopeful Nairo Quintana crashing twice on stage two. The Colombian managed to recover from his first fall and come back into contention at the head of the pack, but a second collision with 3.1km to go lost him 1-44 overall, damaging hopes of a win.
Kaden Groves (BikeExchange-Jayco) moved into the overall lead of the Tour Turkey by beating Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) and Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) in a bunch sprint, after Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) won the opening stage.
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