The driver who collided with Jesse Sergent during last year's Tour of Flanders has been handed a fine of 150 Euros by the magistrates' court in Oudenaarde. The car was trying to overtake the group of escapees just as they were approaching a right-hand corner when it hit Sergent.
Following an investigation, Shimano issued an apology to Sergent and to Sebastian Chavanel, who was involved in another incident with a neutral service vehicle, but no further action was taken. However, in the case of Sergent, the driver was prosecuted and forced to appear before the magistrates in Oudenaarde.
The driver, a 44-year-old chief inspector, admitted that it was a light sentence but told Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws, "that day will stay with me for the rest of my life."
Sergent had been in the breakaway during the 2015 Tour of Flanders when he was hit from the side as the group entered a corner. The impact from the car threw Sergent from his bike, and he was immediately out of the race. Initial fears were soothed when it seemed that the worst of his injuries was a broken collarbone.
However, he spent much longer on the sidelines than had been expected after requiring more surgery to correct the initial one. The New Zealand rider made a comeback almost four months later but struggled to find his form in the remainder of the season. At the end of 2015, Sergent left Trek and moved to AG2R La Mondiale for this season, hoping to gain entry to the Tour de France.
He made his return to the Tour of Flanders at the beginning of April, but two months later, after the Tour de Suisse, he decided to call time on his career at the age of just 28.
Sergent has not taken any civil action against the driver.
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