Massive crash at Criterium du Dauphine forces cancellation of stage five. 'X'@dauphine

Half of the peloton, including race leader Remco Evenepoel and his main rival Primoz Roglic, crashed out of the fifth stage of the French race. The lack of ambulances to evacuate the injured forced the stage to be neutralised for the remaining kilometres. Fortunately there were no serious injuries.

The history of crashes repeats itself in a season, 2024, that is proving to be particularly accident-prone. The Critérium du Dauphiné was once again the protagonist, but this time not because of a duel between the best riders of the moment, as usual, but because more than half the peloton crashed during the fifth stage of the French tour, always the most important test before the Tour de France.

There was a massive crash at high speed and in the rain. Several ambulances had to attend to the injured and the organisers were forced to cancel the day's stage. The eight-day race is a warm-up for the Tour de France in three weeks' time. Top riders Remco Evenepoel and Primoz Roglic both crashed but did not appear to be seriously injured.

They both got up and it looks like they are not seriously injured. They will return on Friday to complete the remaining three stages of the French tour. Evenepoel, the race leader, was seen holding his shoulder. He injured his shoulder in the Basque Country in April, before getting back on his bike.

The world time trial champion and one of the favourites to win the Tour de France crashed out of the Tour of the Basque Country in April. He was joined by Jonas Vingegaard and Roglic. They all went down but seem to have recovered.

With all the ambulances at their disposal taking riders to hospital, the organisers said they had cancelled the stage.
The organisers said: "Due to the fact that there are no ambulances to take care of the riders, because they are all busy going to different hospitals, the race will be neutralised." The announcement means that no times from Thursday's stage will be counted. The times will remain the same as they were at the time of the massive crash.

Two riders from the Visma team, winners of the last two editions of the Tour de France with Jonas Vingegaard, lost key riders Dylan van Baarle and Steven Kruijswijk in Thursday's crash. These will be significant absences if they are unable to recover in time to join the double world champion at the Tour de France in just three weeks' time. The peloton reassembled and rode the final 20km to the finish in Saint-Priest, where the team buses and medics were waiting. 

With three mountain stages remaining, which are always a test of the form of the favourites for the Grand Boucle, Evenepoel leads the race. Roglic is second at 33 seconds and Visma's Matteo Jorgenson is third at 1:04. Roglic lost this time in the time trial, where Evenepoel once again showed his form and strength.

"I'm fine, but look at my helmet," said Soudal's Evenepoel. "My helmet saved me today. I fell on my shoulder again and it's bleeding, but it should be OK. There are guys who are much worse off than me," he added.

Evenepoel and Roglic, along with Vingegaard, who is still recovering from a serious crash, will be in contention for the win. Top favourite Tadej Pogacar is resting after winning the Giro d'Italia to be ready for the start of the French race. Another contender, at least for the podium, is Egan Bernal. The Spaniard has returned to the form that saw him win the Tour and the Giro before a serious crash knocked him out of the race.