The drama struck early on the 13th stage of the Tour de France 2020 as yellow jersey contenders Nairo Quintana and Romain Bardet were caught in an accident, with Bauke Mollema also forced to retire.
The fall came with about 90 km of the difficult climbing stage to go when the riders near the front of the peloton encountered a left turn on the route du Puy Mary.
It quickly became apparent that AG2R leader La Mondiale Bardet and Quintana (Arkea-Samsic), fourth and fifth overall, were involved in the fall.
Mollema from Trek-Segafredo was also involved in the crash, with reports suggesting his right arm and shoulder hurt and his face was bloodied.
The crash led Mollema to abandon the 2020 Tour, forcing him to relinquish his 13th place overall.
Aerial footage of the crash shows a number of runners falling off the turn and heading into a ditch at the side of the road.
Bardet and Quintana were quickly able to get back on their bikes and were brought back into the peloton by their teammates, but it’s unclear at this time if they suffered any injuries.
Trek-Segafredo said on Twitter: “Unfortunately, Bauke Mollema was overtaken by the latest accident.
“He gave up and we will report the extent of his injuries when we know more.”
Mollema had supported his team manager Richie Porte but had always ridden well overall himself, sitting 2-31 in the lead at the start of stage 13 and around 50 seconds off the top-10.
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The Dutchman has been a candidate for the Grand Tour himself in the past, finishing third in the Vuelta a España 2011. He also has three Tour de France top 10 finishes, including a sixth place in 2013.