Fresh after his win in the Belgian National Championships time trial, Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Soudal) fell flat on the ground after a drunken fan stepped on the road race course.
The Belgian suffered a slight concussion but could continue to finish the race, 77th behind winner Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors).
“National Championships road race today to end the first part of the season,” he wrote on Instagram.
“Pretty good legs but sadly ended the race with a crash. Light concussion. Due to a drunk spectator that was on the road. The huge crowd was awesome, but please stay at the side of the road.”
The Lampaert fan ran into the road with around 6.3 kilometres remaining. The unnamed man went into the road to wave at a helicopter unaware of the riders coming his way.
Campenaerts could see the light side of it. “It’s a funny story,” he told Het Nieuwsblad. “I was overrun by a tipsy Lampaert supporter. I could not avoid him.
“I found myself on the ground suddenly. There was no option.”
Lampaert won the road race over Quick-Step team-mate Philippe Gilbert and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo). Campenaerts, who won the time trial title three days prior, was the last one in at eight minutes.
“Of course, I would have preferred that a team Lotto-Soudal rider won the jersey in the road race, but I’m glad for my friend and opponent Yves Lampaert, and I won the time trial.”
The president of the Lampaert fan club reached out to Campenaerts after his Instagram message to apologise.
“Victor as president of Yves Lampaert fan club and also cycling fan, I would like to apologise for the incident in the last race,” Bert Wanwijnsberghe wrote. “You must know that we have a lot of respect for every rider in the peloton. And certainly also for a champion like you.”
“Bert, I really appreciate this message!” Campenaerts replied. “The strongest won yesterday.”
Campenaerts raced the Giro d’Italia in May and will now take a break before the second half of his season.