The Belgian prodigy hit the deck with 85 kilometres of the largely flat stage remaining when the winds sparked attacks and echelons. He was taken to a local hospital for medical checks.
"No one else was involved in the fall. Remco was taken away with the ambulance, but we do not have any more information yet," said Deceuninck-QuickStep directeur sportif Geert Van Bondt, according to Sporza.
The Deceuninck-QuickStep team later explained that Evenepoel had suffered abrasions on his elbow, under arm, hip and fingers but fortunately had not suffered any fractures or had signs of concussion. He will now spend a couple of days recuperating and should be able to start training at the weekend. His race program for the next weeks should not be in danger.
"I am of course upset and a little bit scared about what happened, as it was my first World Tour race and this is not how I wanted it to end," Evenepoel explained.
"But apart from some soreness, I’m okay and nothing is broken, which is a relief. I hope to heal fast and return as soon as possible to the pack."
Evenepoel hinted on social media that a motorbike had some how sparked his crash.
"Shit happens. Crashes are part of the game, and so do [are -ed] motorbikes. I just want to say that the motorbikes should have a little bit more respect for the peloton, and where the riders are riding. If we ride on the right side of the road, then DON’T make a standstill on the right side, PLEASE!" he wrote on Instagram.
Evenepoel, who skipped the U23 ranks to join Deceuninck-QuickStep after winning the junior road race and time trial double at the 2018 World Championships, was riding his second race as a pro. After finishing ninth at the Vuelta a San Juan, he was riding his first WorldTour event in the UAE in a star-studded field.
On the first key stage from a general classification perspective, with the summit finish on Jebel Hafeet on Tuesday, the 19-year-old caught the eye once more. He finished 15th, ahead of a host of big names such as Michal Kwiatkowski and Vincenzo Nibali.
After the UAE Tour, Evenepoel was not due to race again until late March.
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