Ever since world champion Peter Sagan crashed out of contention at the Tour of Flanders yesterday, social media has been abuzz with the question of whether a fan’s jacket may have been responsible – and now, a video from the other side of the road shows that it was.
The Bora Hansgrohe rider, who won the race 12 months ago, was leading Greg van Avermaet of BMC Racing and AG2R-La Mondiale’s Oliver Naesen on the Oude Kwaremont climb when the crash happened.
The trio were in pursuit of Philippe Gilbert of Quick Step Floors, who had launched a solo attack with 55 kilometres remaining. He won the race, but there has been a lot of speculation that had it not been for the crash, he would have been caught.
The exact cause of the crash had been unclear, but footage shot by a spectator on the climb now shows exactly what happened – and has been retweeted by Sagan himself.
It clearly shows the jacket catching on his arm or jacket, enough to pull his front wheel into the foot of a barrier and crash, with van Avermaet and Naesen – whose handlebar pulled the garment clean off the barrier it was draped over – coming down too.
— Peter Sagan (@petosagan) April 3, 2017
To add insult to injury for Sagan, in the aftermath of his chute, his sunglasses were destroyed as Nike Terpstra of Quick Step Floors ride over them – and if you’ve ever had a favourite pair of shades broken, you’ll know exactly how he feels in the second picture here.
— Cronoescalada (@cronoescalada) April 3, 2017
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.