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“Go f*ck yourself” – Luke Rowe hits out at fans blaming him for Paris-Roubaix crash

“Try riding a f*cking bike through the forest of Arenberg with a front wheel puncture” says Ineos Grenadiers rider

Ineos Grenadiers rider Luke Rowe has hit out at fans who blamed him for bringing down former world champion Mads Pedersen of Trek-Segafredo at Paris-Roubaix yesterday – inviting them to ride through the Arenberg Forest with a flat front tyre and see how they got on.

The Welsh rider was one of the early protagonists of what turned out to be an edition of the race that will live long in the memory as, returning after a two and a half year absence due to COVID-19 and in an unfamiliar October slot, it was ridden in the rain for the first time since 2002.

Rowe had been brought back into the main group by the time the race entered the Arenberg, one of the toughest of the 30 secteurs of pavé that are its signature, and swung over to the middle of the road from the right as his front tyre flatted.

One rider behind Rowe managed to avoid him but Pedersen couldn’t, and crashed into the Ineos Grenadiers rider – who subsequently became the target of posts on social media blaming him for the crash.

In an Instagram video that now appears to have been deleted, Rowe said: “I've been bombarded with messages about causing a crash on Mads Pedersen in the forest in Arenberg, you're nuts, you are nuts.

“If you’re one of them who sent me a message you are nuts. I had a front wheel puncture, I had no control on the bike.

“If you're one of those who sent me a message try riding a f*cking bike through the forest of Arenberg with a front wheel puncture. I was trying to stay to the right, the front wheel started to go, I swung to the left, Mads hit me at 40 kilometres an hour.”

He added: “If you're one of those who sent me a message I'm going to try and say it as politely as I can, go f*ck yourself.”

The 31-year-old, who finished 67th yesterday, has raced every edition of Paris-Roubaix since his debut in the Monument in 2013, his best finish coming two years later when he finished eighth.

> Sonny Colbrelli thrives on chaos of mud splattered Paris-Roubaix to take memorable victory

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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