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Carnage as 25-rider pile up forces Tour de France to stop stage 14

A sudden shower hit the Tour de France peloton in the mountains on Saturday causing a mass fall on a rain-slicked corner just 5km into stage 14 that forced organisers to temporarily halt the race.

There was utter carnage as the riders in the peloton were left strewn across the road and the hillside grass in a horrifying pileup.

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Intermarche Wanty rider Louis Meintjes, 13th overall, and Antonio Pedrero of Movistar were forced to pull out of the race as a result of the fall with the latter taken away in an ambulance.

Esteban Chaves had restarted the race but soon withdrew, becoming the third withdrawal on the stage.

Up to 25 riders fell and 50 were blocked with about a third of those who hit the tarmac at 50kph struggling to get back in the saddle.

The crash has stopped the 14th Stage. Photo: Twitter
The crash has stopped the 14th Stage. Photo: TwitterSource: Supplied

In a statement posted to social media, Movistar confirmed: “Unfortunately, the 14th stage of @letour_es | #TDF2023 begins with the second retirement for the Movistar Team: @pedrero_antonio.“The Catalan, one of the most affected in a pileup, will not be able to reach Paris in his first ‘Grande Boucle’.

“We will keep you informed.”

Following the incident, ITV Cycling confirmed that “many riders” were receiving treatment.

Eurosport presenter Orla Chennaoui then reported that Louis Meintjes had also been forced to abandon the race.

She tweeted: “Louis Meintjes out now too. All the best to him.

“The race has to wait to have enough ambulances to restart so riders still waiting for the stage to restart.”

Meintjes’ team Intermarche-Circus-Wanty then confirmed the extent of his injuries.

They tweeted: “We are absolutely devastated to report that Louis Meintjes fractured his collarbone following a crash early in stage 14 and leaves the Tour de France.”

Belgian outlet Nieuwsblad claimed that Brit Tom Pidcock was also involved in the crash, but would be able to continue.

The race restarted 24 minutes after the fall.

Romain Bardet had to pull out of the Tour. Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFPSource: AFP
Shaw after the incident. Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFPSource: AFP

Later in the race, Romain Bardet and James Shaw both also abandoned the stage after crashing on a descent early after the first climb of the day.

Bardet, the leader of the dsm-firmenich suffered a knee and an elbow injury but couldn’t continue after the crash.

He was 12th overall.

Shaw was also caught in the same incident and also withdrew.

With AFP

This story first appeared in The Sun and was republished with permission.

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