A crash during Tour de France Femmes on Thursday July 28 left dozens of riders in a massive pile up, with one being sent to the hospital.
The accident took place on a road between Bar-le-Luc to Saint-die-des-Vosges in France during Stage 5 of the inaugural revived edition of the Tour de France Femmes, one of the women’s cycling’s two grand tours.
Taking place from July 24 to 31 this year, the race is the first time in 33 years that women are taking part in the Tour de France, the most watched cycling event in the world, according to the Washington Post.
It comes after years of campaigning by women’s cyclists for an equivalent race to the men’s Tour de France.
A women’s Tour de France was held from 1984 to 1989 but was canceled due to lack of financing, according to the Post.
With 50 kilometers left in the race, the crash occurred on a straight, wide road for no apparent reason.
Video footage of the moment showed several riders falling down into each other into a pile across the road, leading others behind them to crash into them.
Danish cyclist Emma Norsgaard was sent to hospital, suffering several injuries to her head, neck and left shoulder, according to CNN.
Several riders also suffered bumps and bruises, and it took them several minutes to untangle themselves from each other and their bikes.
“I just rode in over the girls and I think a few girls fell on top of me,” Dutch rider Chantal van den Broek-Blaak told Cycling Weekly. “It was a long, straight road and with stages like this when it’s 175 kilometers and flat you know you cannot concentrate for four-and-a-half hours, so it can happen.”
Some riders reported that the cause was a fallen water bottle, according to Cycling Weekly.
39-year-old Dutch rider Annemiek van Vleuten claimed overall victory on Sunday July 31, winning the eight-day race by by 3 minutes 48 seconds.
The race spanned 1,033 kilometers (642 miles), starting from the Champs Elysée in Paris on the day the men’s tour ended and finishing on a summit at La Super Planche des Belles Filles in the Vosges mountains.