— Paris-Roubaix (@Paris_Roubaix) April 9, 2017
A large crash on the second cobbled sector of 2017 Paris-Roubaix took down a swathe of riders, including Belgian contender Oliver Naesen (Ag2r).
It was not clear what had caused the crash on the second of 29 cobbled sectors, from Viesly to Quiévy, but riders were tumbling on the soft verge on the right-hand side of the road.
Naesen was one of those brought down, along with two Ag2r team-mates. Sky’s Łukasz Wiśniowski was also felled.
Despite the tumble, Naesen appeared relatively unscathed and managed to get back on his bike swiftly and put in some hard work to chase to the rear of the peloton.
With 150km still to race, Naesen had plenty of time to recover from his catch-up effort.
Several further crashes then occurred as the warm, dry weather led to a high racing speed and a layer of slick dust lying on top of the road surfaces.
Naesen has had a solid Classics season in 2017, finishing third at E3 Harelbeke, and seventh in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
He was in a group with Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) as they were chasing down solo escape Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) in last weekend’s Tour of Flanders when the trio crashed. He eventually finished in 23rd place.
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