• Jordi Meeus (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
The final four kilometres of stage 2 of the Etoile de Bessèges were disrupted by two major crashes on Friday (AEDT).
SBS Cycling Central

5 Feb 2021 - 9:08 AM 

A dozen riders were floored during the sprint finish in France, though thankfully most were apparently not seriously injured.

Timothy Dupont of Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles was the stage winner, managing to stay out of the chaos, but in the end 19 riders were given the same time as him.

"A shit way to end a good sprint stage," said Trek-Segafredo's Mads Pedersen, who took extreme action to avoid crashing, steering into the road's side fence and sending spectators scrambling.

"I think we could have done a good result, I was in a good position.

"I'm just happy now I didn't crash, you see how so many guys are coming now with broken clothing."

Riders who did get caught up in the crash include the race's best young rider Jordi Meeus (Bora-Hansgrohe), Ethan Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers), Danny van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert), Julien Duval and Damien Touze (AG2R La Mondiale), Guillaume Boivin (Israel Start-Up Nation), and Boris Vallée (Bingoal-WB).

The majority of them walked away with minor injuries - cuts, scrapes and bruises - but Hayter will undergo closer examination after going over the handlebars on the first crash.