Julian Alaphilippe says he doesn’t blame motorbike rider for his Tour of Flanders crash 

The world champion said it was ‘just a racing incident’

Julian Alaphilippe crashes out of the Tour of Flanders 2020 (Luc Claesen/BELGA/AFP via Getty Images)
(Image credit: BELGA/AFP via Getty Images)

Julian Alaphilippe says he doesn’t blame the motorbike rider for his Tour of Flanders crash that potentially cost him victory.

The Deceuninck - Quick-Step rider had made the race-winning breakaway along with Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert, but crashed out when he rode into the back of a race motorbike, which was stopping at the side of the road. 

After the collision, there was plenty discussion about the cause , as Deceuninck team boss Patrick Lefevere blamed the motorbike rider, while others said Alaphilippe could have avoided the crash

Moto rider Eddy Lissens said he felt guilty about the incident, but Alaphilippe has now said the collision was not his fault. 

In an interview with French newspaper L’Equipe (opens in new tab), reigning world champion Alahpilippe said: “I heard that the motorbike rider felt guilty about what had happened, but he mustn't worry, and I hope that this interview will reassure him. I don't blame him; it was just a racing incident.

“Besides, I'm not a vindictive person anyway. And both Van Aert and Van der Poel sent me messages afterwards, too, which was nice of them." 

The crashed happened in the final of the Tour of Flanders earlier this month, as Alaphilippe, Van der Poel and Van Aert rode clear of their rivals in a three-rider escape.

Van Aert was leading the breakaway when two moto riders came to a stop at the side of the road, with both Van Aert and Van der Poel able to avoid the slowing motorbike.

But Alaphilippe was on his radio and didn’t see the bike, crashing into the back at full speed. 

He suffered a broken hand in the fall and was forced to abandon the race, later undergoing surgery.

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Alaphilippe is now recovering at home in Andorra before beginning his training for next season. 

He added: "I'm skilled on the bike – I manage to avoid obstacles, and to squeeze through tight spaces – but in this case, there was nothing I could do.”  

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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.