Chaotic scenes unfolded at Dwars door Vlaanderen as the men’s race was neutralised twice.
Confusion caused a delay to the racing as the peloton and breakaway were brought back together and the race paused on the narrow winding roads of Flanders.
The 182.8km race from Roeselare to Waregem is a popular test for those targeting the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.
Cyclocross champion Mathieu van der Poel won the race, taking his first WorldTour victory.
A delay in the women’s race ahead, caused by a crash, meant the men’s breakaway got too close and the race needed to be stopped 76km from the line.
The men were stopped but quickly started rolling again, only to be stopped once again because the breakaway were behind the peloton.
Officials stopped the race once again to allow the group of eight leaders to move back to their 2-15 advantage held before the stoppage.
But things still weren’t set, as escapee Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) was left behind the breakaway.
Pöstlberger asked a race jury motorbike rider to tow him back to the front of the race but was denied, before he was finally carried up by a media bike.
He even gave a brief interview to the motorbike passenger while chasing the escapees.
The race was eventually restarted with 70km to go at the foot of the Kluisberg.
After the race was restarted, the tension seemed high in the bunch as a crash followed almost immediately.
Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates) and Stijn Vandenbergh (Ag2r La Mondiale) were amongst those caught in the collision.
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