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Lampaert crashes into spectator in Paris-Roubaix finale

Yves Lampaert of QuickStep-AlphaVinyl would manage top 10 finish at Paris-Roubaix
Yves Lampaert of QuickStep-AlphaVinyl would manage top 10 finish at Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Getty)

Yves Lampaert’s hopes of a podium finish at Paris-Roubaix were dashed in dramatic circumstances when he crashed after hitting a roadside spectator on the penultimate sector of cobbles at Hem.

The QuickStep-AlphaVinyl rider was chasing eventual winner Dylan van Baarle (Ineos Grenadiers) in the company of Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) when he clipped a spectator who was applauding from the roadside with 8km remaining.

Lampaert made a vain attempt to keep himself upright, but he fell heavily. Although quickly back on his feet, he was forced to restart on a neutral service bike, and he would eventually reach the Roubaix velodrome in 10th place, 2:59 down on Van Baarle.

The Belgian’s frustration was evident at the finish, though he acknowledged that he was already racing for third place at the time of the crash, given Van Baarle’s lead out in front.

“I certainly wasn't the strongest today," Lampaert told Sporza (opens in new tab). “When I was away with Mohorič, I felt I didn't have much left over. Third place was the maximum I could get.

“I was at my limit. I told Mohorič that too. I would have been really happy with a podium place.”

Lampaert was riding on the smooth shoulder of the cobbles at Hem when he clipped the outstretched hand of an applauding supporter on the inside of a bend.

“Those are situations that should not happen in a race. It's a shame,” Lampaert said. “I wanted to cut that right turn and normally the supporters go backwards. But that man brought his arm forward and it hit my arm. As a result, I lost control of the bike and I couldn’t stay up.”

Lampaert colourfully described the supporter in question as a “calf”, adding that the incident might have cost him a podium finish.

“If you don't know anything about the race, then stay at home,” he said. “For me, it was dramatic, because there was still a podium place at play. Mohorič and Van Baarle were stronger than me, but third place was perhaps just achievable.”

Lampaert is not the first QuickStep rider to suffer such a setback in the finale of Paris-Roubaix. Nine years ago, Stijn Vandenbergh crashed into a spectator on the Carrefour de l’Arbre, while Zdenek Stybar also lost contact with the winning move when he clipped another spectator a kilometre or so later.

Lampaert was QuickStep-AlphaVinyl’s best finisher in a breathless Paris-Roubaix as the team’s difficult Classics campaign continues. Julian Alaphilippe and Remco Evenepoel will look to put a different slant on the team’s Spring at Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège this week.

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Barry Ryan

Barry Ryan is European Editor at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation (opens in new tab), published by Gill Books.