LIEGE, Belgium — Julian Alaphilippe, the world road race champion from France, was forced to abandon Liege-Bastogne-Liege after getting caught in a mass crash with about 60 kilometers left.
His team said Alaphilippe fractured his shoulder blade and has two fractured ribs and a collapsed lung.
“His condition is stable but will need to be hospitalized for observation,” Quick-Step Alpha-Vinyl said.
Alaphilippe, 29, won the last two world road race titles, becoming the first Frenchman to win the race in 23 years. In between he skipped the Tokyo Olympics after placing fourth in the road race in 2016.
Over the last three years, Alaphilippe wore the Tour de France yellow jersey for 18 stages.
Rising star Remco Evenepoel won Liege-Bastogne-Liege on Sunday, the biggest victory of his career in cycling’s oldest classic as Belgian riders swept the podium places.
A versatile rider widely regarded as one of the most promising talents of his generation, Evenepoel triumphed in “La Doyenne” at his first attempt, aged 22.
Evenepoel, who recovered from a horrific crash at the 2020 Tour of Lombardy, raised his arms and buried his face in his hands as he added his name to a list of winners that includes the likes of cycling greats Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault.
“It’s my first Liege and I won, it’s a dream come true,” said Evenepoel, who rides for the Belgian outfit Quick-Step-Alpha-Vinyl. “Finishing alone, with a lead of almost one minute in my favorite race, it’s unbelievable.”
Annemiek van Vleuten of the Netherlands won the women’s race for the second time after going solo in the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons. She won ahead of Grace Brown and Demi Vollering.
“It’s like good wine, the strength comes with age,” said the former world champion, who is 39.
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Bardet climbing down to help an injured Alaphilippe 👏 pic.twitter.com/bhs5cKnMJ6
— the Inner Ring (@inrng) April 24, 2022