The Tour of Flanders will be remembered for Alexander Kristoff’s victory and a great day of racing but also for the accidents that saw two nasty crashes involving Shimano neutral service vehicles.
Jesse Sergent (Trek Factory Racing) and Sébastien Chavanel (FDJ) were both taken down by a neutral service car, in two separate incidents, within around 20 kilometres of each other. Both riders subsequently abandoned the race and while Chavanel escaped with some hefty bruising, an x-ray revealed that Sergent had broken his left collarbone.
“He was in the breakaway and he was feeling good. The strategy was to have one extra rider in front for the final of the race and obviously our tactic couldn’t work like that but it is how it is,” said Guercilena.
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Chavanel was hit while resolving a mechanical problem on the side of the road. His team car, which was driven by team manager Marc Madiot, had stopped behind their rider when it was hit from behind by another neutral service vehicle. The force of the crash propelled the FDJ team car into its own rider. Fortunately both rider and passengers escaped serious injury, but the same couldn’t be said for the cars involved.
“Our clover had three leaves today, not four,” Madiot said wryly.
“At Shimano we apologize for both incidents the Shimano sponsored neutral caused today at the Tour of Flanders,” the statement reads.