Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck–QuickStep) and Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) were among those caught up in a big crash in the maglia rosa group on Stage 17 at the Giro d’Italia.
The Belgian crashed into a roadside barrier as he tried to avoid the carnage ahead, which had wiped out Ciccone and his Trek teammates Vincenzo Nibali and Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier.
Evenepoel had surged back into the main group of GC contenders after being distanced at the start of the first Cat. 1 climb, with Rob Hatch labelling it a "Rem-comeback" on Eurosport commentary.
Evenepoel: I need to improve to challenge Pogacar, Roglic, Bernal
But just minutes later, the 21-year-old was lying on top of a barrier after taking evasive action to avoid a crash in front during a fast descent.
The incident will have undoubtedly brought memories flooding back of his horror crash at Il Lombardia last year, but fortunately soon returned to his bike. The Giro is Evenepoel's first race since that crash.
Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), who was sixth in general classification prior to the stage, was also quick to get back into the action and pursue the lead group. Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) in the pink jersey was unscathed.
Mikel Nieve (Team BikeExchange), who had driven a furious pace on the front up the first Cat. 1 climb, and teammate Nick Schultz were others who hit the tarmac.
- - -
You can watch the Giro d'Italia live and ad-free on the Eurosport app and Eurosport.co.uk. Download the Eurosport app for iOS and Android now. You can also watch the most comprehensive live & ad-free racing on GCN+. Go deeper and get interactive with live polls & quizzes, plus rider profiles, race updates, results & more – plus stream exclusive cycling documentaries. Watch it all with GCN+ on any device.
Il Lombardia 2021 as it happened – Sensational Pogacar wins his second Monument of 2021
In-form Roglic the favourite for star-studded Il Lombardia - Blazin' Saddles