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Fire forces race officials to stop Evenepoel and peloton mid-race at Druivenkoers-Overijse

Tour of Denmark 2021 - 31st Edition - 3rd stage Tonder - Vejle 219,2 km - 12/08/2021 - Remco Evenepoel (BEL - Deceuninck - Quick-Step) - photo Thomas Sjorup/CV/BettiniPhoto©2021
Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-QuickStep) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and the rest of the Druivenkoers-Overijse peloton were left standing in the road for 15 minutes after a car accident and fire forced race officials to stop and then neutralise the one-day Belgian race with 25km to go. 

Evenepoel was leading the race after launching a solo attack but he was suddenly stopped by race director Scott Sunderland and the peloton soon caught him in a moment of confusion and concern. Sunderland quickly explained the problem and said the race was neutralised until the firefighters arrived. 

A large plume of smoke could be seen up the road as the firefighters arrived, put out the fire and cleared the road.  

Sunderland suggested it would take five minutes but the neutralisation lasted 15 minutes, with riders taking time to take bidons and race food from their team cars and chat as they waited in the road. The race caravan was eventually escorted past the accident and fire before the race started again.

Evenepoel sat patiently in the road during the pause in racing, wearing a jacket to stay warm, before race judges allowed him to start 35 seconds before his rivals. 

He then powered on alone to win alone and prove he is back to his best and deserving of a place in the Belgian national team for the European championships in Trento, Italy, and the subsequent World Championships in Flanders, on the same roads used for the Druivenkoers - Overijse race.