Jesse Sergent (Trek Factory Racing) was forced to abandon Sunday’s Tour of Flanders after being hit by a neutral service car. Sergent was in the break along with six other riders when a Shimano neutral service car swerved to avoid a curb as it was overtaking the group, and sideswiped the New Zealand rider, who was thrown from his bike.
Sergent could be seen sitting in the back of a race ambulance following the incident supporting what looked like a broken collarbone as he was attended to by medics. The Trek Factory Racing team quickly confirmed that his race would end there.
“In the break Jesse Sergent just got knocked off his bike by a neutral support vehicle,” Trek wrote on twitter. “Jesse is with first aid. Sadly it looks like a broken collarbone. We will confirm when we know more.”
It is not the first time that a race vehicle has collided while trying to overtake the leading group. Johnny Hooglerland - racing for Vacansoleil at the time – was famously propelled into a barbed wire fence during the 2011 Tour de France when a France television car swerved to avoid a tree as it tried to overtake the breakaway. Juan Antonio Flecha was also involved in the incident although, unlike Sergent, they were both able to finish the stage.
Trek Factory Racing have endured a tumultuous Classics season after losing their captain and three-time Flanders winner Fabian Cancellara to two broken vertebrae following a crash during E3 Harelbeke. Stijn Devolder is their leader for the Tour of Flanders.