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Video: Riders disqualified at Scheldeprijs - for going through level crossing

Demare and Groenewegen among those kicked out of action-packed edition of sprinters' Classic...

More than a dozen riders were disqualified from Belgium’s Scheldeprijs one-day race today for illegally going through a level crossing as the gates closed.

The riders expelled from the race included some such as Groupama-FDJ’s Arnaud Demare and Dylan Groenewegen of LottoNL-Jumbo who would have fancied their chances in a race that favours the sprinters.

Also disqualified as a result of the incident were Katusha-Alpecin’s Tony Martin, the Team Sky pairing of Christian Knees and Ian Stannard, and Aqua Blue Sport rider Conor Dunne, among others.

They had been riding in the second peloton after echelons split the race apart, and fell foul of UCI rules that were tightened up in 2015 after a number of riders at that year’s Paris-Roubaix ignored warnings and went through a level crossing just as a high-speed TGV train approached.

> French railway calls for prosecutions of Paris-Roubaix crossing-dodgers

As blogger Inner Ring points out, they may face further sanctions – including a potential one-month suspension – due to new rules introduced by the UCI this year.

An incident-packed race today also saw a number of riders abandon after they were involved in a collision with a car that was apparently parked on the course.

The race was won in a sprint from a much-reduced bunch by Dutch rider Fabio Jakobsen of Quick Step Floors, with the team’s former rider Marcel Kittel, now with Katusha and looking for his sixth victory here in the past seven editions, out of contention due to a late mechanical problem.

Pascal Ackermann of Bora-Hansgrohe was second, while Team Sky’s Chris Lawless – winner last month of a stage at the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali – third.

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.

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