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Giant crash at cycling’s Criterium du Dauphine race

The pack rides during the fifth stage of the Criterium du Dauphine. Photo: Thomas Samson/AFP

A large swathe of the peloton at the Criterium du Dauphine fell in a giant pile-up on Thursday, with several ambulances attending the injured and race organisers cancelling the day’s racing.

The eight-day race is a warm-up for the Tour de France in three weeks time, and top riders Remco Evenepoel and Primoz Roglic both fell but appeared not to be badly hurt.

Race leader Evenepoel was left clutching the shoulder he injured in the Basque Country in April before clambering back on to his bike.

Organisers said they had cancelled the stage because all the ambulances at their disposal were taking riders to hospitals.

“Due to the fact there are no ambulances to take care of the riders, because they are all busy going to different hospitals, the race will be neutralised,” race organisers said.

The announcement means no times from Thursday’s stage will be counted.

Two riders from the Visma team that won the previous two editions of the Tour de France lost key riders Dylan van Baarle and Steven Kruijswijk in Thursday’s fall.

Both Evenepoel and Roglic fell at the Tour of the Basque Country two months ago and this is their first race back.

The pair are expected to challenge for overall victory in the Tour de France.

The peloton remounted and rode the remaining 20km to the finish line at Saint-Priest where team buses and medics awaited them.

Evenepoel leads the race with Roglic second at 33sec and Visma’s Matteo Jorgenson third at 1min 04sec.

“I’m alright but look at my helmet,” said Soudal rider Evenepoel. “My helmet saved me today. I fell on my shoulder again and it’s bleeding but it should be OK, there’s guys far worse off than me.”

The race continues with three mountain stages in the Alps over the weekend.

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