Julian Alaphilippe has crashed out of the Tour of Flanders after colliding with a motorbike.
The Frenchman had been part of a move at the front of the race alongside favourites Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) and Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) before he suffered a nasty fall.
Trying to make their move stick, the trio were relaying with 35km to go, Wout van Aert using the slipstream of a motorbike which was then slowing on the right side of the road. Van Aert pulled out to move around it, Van der Poel having less time to see it and quickly moving out of the way leaving Alaphilippe with little chance to take evasive action and riding straight into the back of it.
The Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider went head over heels, his bike flying into the air, as he hit the deck, then screaming out in pain as medics rushed over to treat him.
He remained on the floor while receiving treatment, gingerly holding his wrist and arm, as Van der Poel and Van Aert continued to extend their gap to the chasing group.
After the day’s breakaway had been caught, Alaphilippe was one of the main instigators in bringing the race to life, before his move alongside Van der Poel and Van Aert looked to have stuck.