Live television pictures of stage 18 of the Tour de France showed Danish rider Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) mysteriously crashing as he rode at the front of the escape group on the Col du Glandon. No apparent reason for the crash could be seen as he veered out of shot.
However, video emerged via Danish channel TV 2 SPORT after the stage finished showing a photographer’s motorbike nearly taking out Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale-Garmin) before clipping Fuglsang on his right-hand side and sending him crashing to the ground.
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Fuglsang sustained a cut to his arm as a result of the incident, but remounted and managed to get back in touch with the lead group to finish the stage in fifth place behind winner Romain Bardet (Ag2r).
Narrow mountain roads give very little margin of error for vehicles passing in among riders, but in this instance it seems that the moto pilot is simply not paying attention with two incidents in close succession.
It’s certainly not the first time that a rider has been taken out by a vehicle in the Tour. Few Tour followers can forget the stage of the 2011 race when a France TV car hit Johnny Hoogerland while he was riding in an escape group, catapulting him into barbed wire. Hoogerland sustained deep lacerations, but memorably managed to finish the stage.