Elia Viviani (Cofidis) had a rough Giro d'Italia so far and had his best chance yet for the bunch sprint on stage 11 to Rimini until a motorbike driver ploughed into the back of his bike and knocked him to the ground with just over 30km to go in the stage.
Overhead images showed the moto driver amid the peloton on a roundabout and it appeared that Viviani slowed slightly and the pilot drove right into his rear wheel.
The Olympic Omnium champion slowed and then tumbled over but eventually got up and back onto a new bike. He faced a long chase after the incident, relying on most of his Cofidis teammates to bring him onto the back of a peloton that was in full flight trying to reel in the last of the day's breakaway riders, Sander Armee (Lotto Soudal).
Viviani rejoined with over 10km still to race and, with enough time to recover from the effort, rallied his teammates for the bunch sprint in Rimini.
The five-time Giro stage winner has so far come up empty in the win column since moving to Cofidis this season and, with injuries to his wrist, led out teammate Simone Consonni to fourth place on the stage behind winner Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ).
The pilot of the race motorbike, a member of the Giro d'Italia race staff, was given a 500 CHF fine and kicked off the rest of the race for "Breach of regulations or guidelines concerning vehicle movements during the race."
"What a mess that is!" 💥Elia Viviani is involved in a crash with a motorcycle coming off a roundabout 😲🇮🇹 #Giro d'Italia 📺 Eurosport 2💻📱 Uninterrupted coverage: https://t.co/JMzDjDzpJ7 pic.twitter.com/iER4sEcQk8October 14, 2020
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