Julian Alaphilippe suffered a broken hand in his crash at the Tour of Flanders 2020, having ridden into the back of a motorbike as he was breaking away from the rest of the field alongside Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and eventual winner Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix).
The Frenchman’s Deceuninck – Quick-Step team released a statement saying their star man had been taken to hospital following the crash, with an x-ray revealing he’d suffered two metacarpal fractures on his right hand.
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The incident that ended Alaphilippe’s race occurred with 35km to go, 10km after he had attacked, having taken Van der Poel and Van Aert with him up the road.
Van Aert was driving the trio, drafting a moto in front, which then got the call to pull over and so Van Aert pulled out as it slowed on the right-hand side of the road.
Van der Poel, second in line, had just enough time to react and move quickly out of the way but Alaphilippe was caught unawares, clipping the moto and flung off his bike, landing in a heap on the floor.
The TV camera panned to the world champion lying face down on the road as Van der Poel and Van Aert checked behind them to see what had happened before ploughing on up the road.
Alaphilippe looked to be in some pain, crying out in anguish, gingerly holding his hand as medical staff rushed to assist him.
“The world champion was taken to the hospital in Ronse, where the x-rays showed fractures of the metacarpal two and four on his right hand,” the Deceuninck – Quick-Step statement read.
Alaphilippe will now undergo surgery on Monday morning, the Tour of Flanders already having been his last race of the season, before rehabilitating over the winter months.