Confusion as Movistar rider denies being disqualified from Tour of Flanders

Race organisers said Nelson Oliveira had been kicked off the race

Movistar rider Nelson Oliveira has denied being kicked out of the Tour of Flanders after race organisers announced he had been disqualified.

The official race Twitter announced that Oliveira had been removed from the race for not following safety procedures.

Oliveira had formed part of an unsuccessful four-man breakaway with Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Matti Breschel (EF Education First) in the closing 100km.

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The Tour of Flanders Twitter account said: “One of the four leaders, Nelson Oliveira from Movistar, has been taken out of the race by race jury for not following the safety procedures.”

A number of fans asked what Oliveira had done, but organisers did not give further details.

Shortly after the finish, the Portuguese rider said on Twitter that he had not been disqualified and that he in fact had finished the race.

He said: “I don’t know what happened, but someone must have made a mistake and it was not me.

“I finished the race and I was not taken out of the race.”

According to Pro Cycling Stats, Oliveira finished in 45th place, 2-20 down on race winner Alberto Bettiol.

Bettiol triumphed after a chaotic day of racing, with the Italian putting in a huge attack on the final ascent of the Oude Kwaremont and riding solo to victory.

Drama earlier in the day saw reigning champion Niki Terpstra crash out of the race 157km from the finish.

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Then Dutch national champion Mathieu van der Poel was caught in a bizarre crash after suffering a mechanical.

Van der Poel was forced to bunnyhop into a planter to avoid crashing, but the impact with the curb broke the front end of his bike and he was thrown over the handlebars.

Despite appearing injured at first, van der Poel re-mounted his bike and rode brilliantly into fourth position at the line.

Cycling Weekly has approached race organisers Flanders Classics for comment.

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