The Belgian cyclist Stig Broeckx is in a coma after a crash involving two race motorbikes during the Tour of Belgium
The Belgian cyclist Stig Broeckx is in a coma after a crash involving two race motorbikes during the Tour of Belgium.
The 26 -year-old professional was taken to hospital with suspected head injuries along with up to 11 others involved in the collision on the third stage of the race on Saturday, his team confirmed.
The race spokesman, Chris Vannoppen, corroborated Broeckx is in a coma and his Lotto-Soudal team added that he had been taken to a nearby hospital in Aachen, Germany.
According to Belgian sports website Sporza, 19 riders were caught up in the incident, with a dozen suffering serious enough traumata to warrant transferral to hospital.
Jesper Asselnan, Tony Hurel, Pieter Jacobs, Loic Chetout, Broeckx and Frederik Frison were all reportedly involved in the crash. The race was initially neutralised entailing no riders could attack before organisers decided to end proceedings early.
It is the second time this year that Broeckx has been involved in a crash with a motorbike, and the latest in a series of accidents to involve motos and scooters in the professional peloton.
In Februarys Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne race, Broeckx collided with a medical bike. In March, the Belgian rider Antoine Demoitie died after being hit by a motorbike during the Gent-Wevelgem one-day race. Meanwhile, a stalled motorbike caused a huge accident in the peloton just after the start of the Red Hook Criterium in New York in May.
The wave of incidents involving motorbikes, which are traditionally used to help television broadcasters encompass races live, has led to many cyclists calling for a review of their employ.
Tony Martin, the world-champion time trialist who rides for Etixx Quick-Step, tweeted after the crash on Saturday: What we need NOW is a round table with UCI, race organisers and riders to force changes and decide one security standard for EVERY race!
The international cycling body, the UCI, afterwards corroborated they would review Tour of Belgium crash, to ensure recently introduced rules governing moto uses were respected.
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