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Tour of Britain stage neutralised and diverted after motorcyclist suffers “serious injuries” in unrelated crash on route

The race’s final stage was halted as the breakaway crested the top of the Bwlch mountain, with 84km to go to the finish in Caerphilly

This afternoon’s final stage of the Tour of Britain was diverted and temporarily neutralised after a motorcyclist crashed and fell into a river, reportedly sustaining serious injuries, in an unrelated, non-racing incident along the route.

A six-rider breakaway, two minutes ahead of the peloton and including Great Britain’s Oliver Wood, was about to crest the summit of Bwlch mountain with just 84 kilometres to go in today’s decisive eighth stage from Margam Park to Caerphilly when they were pulled over to the side of the road by the race organisers, who announced that the stage had been paused “due to a non-racing incident along the route”.

Wales Online has since reported that a serious road traffic incident in Treorchy, located at the foot of the descent of Bwlch mountain, prompted the sudden neutralisation.

According to a spokesperson for South Wales Police, a motorcyclist collided with a bollard near the town’s Pencelli Hotel, falling into a river and sustaining “serious” injuries. He has been taken to hospital.

Photographs taken in the town show emergency service vehicles stretched across the road, while the Welsh Ambulance Service said it was employing “multiple resources” at the scene.

Stage eight of the 2023 Tour of Britain neutralised following non-racing incident (Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

(Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

A few kilometres back at the top of the climb, the temporary neutralisation and diversion, which lasted for just under 40 minutes, provoked scenes reminiscent of the hour-long halt to last month’s men’s world road race championships in Scotland – which, on that occasion, was precipitated by an environmental protest on the route – as riders chatted to each other and the race organisers, while taking advantage of the pause to put on jackets and arm warmers to protect themselves from the rainy Welsh weather.

The riders were then led by the race organisers down the descent and through Treorchy, before racing finally resumed with 74km to go at the bottom of the Rhigos climb, with the breakaway’s advantage reinstated.

“We thank everybody involved for their patience and understanding,” the organisers said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

With the race back underway, Wout van Aert capped a week of almost unrelenting dominance from his Jumbo-Visma team by ditching the black and yellow band and putting in an equally impressive solo performance to secure his second career Tour of Britain title.

Wout van Aert wins the 2023 Tour of Britain (Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

(Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

Isolated and seemingly vulnerable as the attacks flew on the final circuits around the steep slopes of Caerphilly Mountain, the Belgian remained calm and calculated, nullifying any dangerous moves while keeping the Ineos Grenadiers’ Tour de France prospect Carlos Rodriquez – who had attacked alongside Israel-Premier Tech’s Stevie Williams with 50km to go, before dispatching the British rider on the penultimate lap – in check.

Rodriquez had enough in the tank to hang on for an impressive stage win, but in the end his 30 second deficit at the start of the day ensured he never looked like troubling the controlled Van Aert, who led home a group of four eleven seconds behind – outsprinting Damien Howson, Tobias Johannessen, and Rodriquez’s dangerously lurking teammate Magnus Sheffield – to regain the overall title he won for the first time back in 2021.

Carlos Rodriquez wins stage eight, 2023 Tour of Britain (Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

(Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

For the Tour of Britain’s organisers, subject to social media cries of ‘boring’ during the race’s opening six sprint stages, the roads around Caerphilly delivered the exciting, attacking, and suspense-packed action the public had been promised, with a GC battle that went right to the line to boot. It’s a pity, then, that the nail biting and unpredictable can often appear ominously inevitable whenever a certain Wout van Aert turns up to race, and win.

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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4 comments

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ktache | 10 months ago
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The chorus of squealing discs as the peleton stopped for the neutralisation was something to hear.

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essexian | 10 months ago
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May I wish all the best to the motorcycle rider. The support riders on the Tour do an excellent job of keeping the race safe so deserve our praise.

And thanks also go to the riders of the race for putting on an excellent event overall, given the lack of challenges on most of the stages. And finally, many thanks to the organsiation which put together the race. Its a hard thing to do with money so tight in the UK and thus, few sponsors and councils wishing to be involved. 

Finally....Stevie Williams. One to watch?

Avatar
Offwood | 10 months ago
3 likes

The tail end of this ToB was great. Would love to see some other hillier areas used in the future to mimick the Gloucestershire stage.

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flybywire replied to Offwood | 10 months ago
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For instance West Berks, Wilts & Hants for a stage in the North Wessex downs & test valley 

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