tOur French champion Jonas Vingegaard and the two stars Remco Evenepoel and Primoz Roglic were involved in a dramatic crash in the Tour of the Basque Country. On Thursday's fourth stage, several riders fell on a right-hand bend about 35 kilometers from the finish line in Legutio.

They slid into a cement ditch. The Dane Vingegaard apparently suffered the most, as he remained motionless for a long time on the ground and was finally carried on a stretcher to an ambulance. The two-time Tour winner's back was covered in blood. As Vingegaard's racing team Visma-Lease a Bike announced, the Dane was conscious and was being examined in hospital.

Ambulances go to the scene

Slovenian Roglic, of the German team Bora-hansgrohe, was limping on the road after the accident, but cautiously gave the go-ahead from his team vehicle with a thumbs up. According to the first information from the organizers, he and the Belgian world time trial champion Evenepoel suffered a broken collarbone. Like Vingegaard, both were taken to a clinic.

Natnael Tesfatsion of Eritrea was the first cyclist to slip, then about a dozen other cyclists fell. The race was later neutralized. Several ambulances went to the scene of the accident.

Roglic, wearing the first yellow jersey overall, was involved in a serious crash on the third stage on Wednesday. But he returned to the exit bandaged. The Tour of the Basque Country, which ends on Saturday in Eibar, is seen by Vingegaard and company as a preparation race for the Tour de France in the summer.

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