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Horrendous Tour of Flanders crash sees Bahrain Victorious pro disqualified

Filip Maciejuk apologised, saying the move was "a big error in my judgement" as Tadej Pogačar won the race with a stunning solo attack...

Bahrain Victorious' Filip Maciejuk was disqualified from the Tour of Flanders for causing a shocking crash which brought down most of the men's peloton, injuring many riders.

UAE Team Emirates' Tim Wellens was the worst affected and abandoned the race, but riders from many teams were brought down, Julian Alaphilippe, Peter Sagan, Jasper Stuyven, Davide Ballerini, Edoardo Affini, Ben Turner and Yves Lampaert among them.

> Incredible Tadej Pogačar wins Tour of Flanders with stunning solo move

The pile-up came with around 140km to go as the peloton raced for position ahead of the first ascent of the Oude Kwaremont.

Maciejuk sped up the left-hand side of the road and onto a flooded grass verge, losing control of his bike and swerving back into the peloton, hitting Tim Wellens and in turn bringing down tens of riders behind.

Commentating for GCN and Eurosport, Dan Lloyd said "it is a long time since I have seen a crash as big as that". 

Moments later, Philippe Gilbert, riding seconds behind the peloton aboard a motorbike, told the TV coverage Maciejuk had been disqualified "for taking a lot of risk and causing the crash".

The 2017 Flanders winner said his former teammates at Soudal Quick-Step seemed to be the worst affected team, with three big names down, and praised the commissaires for using TV footage effectively to come to a decision regarding the disqualification.

"I don't think anyone can argue that that is the correct decision by the UCI commissaires," Lloyd replied.

"I'm really sorry for my mistake"

As the race continued, Maciejuk took to social media to apologise.

"I'm really sorry for my mistake and causing the crash today," he said. "I hope all those involved are in good health and safe. This should not happen and was a big error in my judgement.

"I had no intention of causing this. All I can do now is apologise for my mistake and learn from this in the future. Sorry again to the peloton, my teammates and the fans."

Sitting at home watching alongside the rest of us, Lotto DSTNY's Thomas De Gendt — who is good friends with Wellens — said "dangerous" moves like Maciejuk's need to be banned, saying he would be "okay with suspensions for moves like this".

"This was a direct attack to my friend Tim Wellens. Hope he is not hurt too much," De Gendt commented.

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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