Shimano have issued an apology after its neutral service cars were involved in two crashes at the Tour of Flanders which left Jesse Sergent (Trek Factory Racing) with a broken collarbone and also ended Sebastien Chavanel’s (FDJ.fr) race.
The first incident saw a Shimano neutral service car knock Sergent, who was part of the day’s seven-man breakaway, off his bike after trying to squeeze past the escapees, but running out of space between the kerb and the group.
The second incident, later in the race, saw a Shimano car shunt an FDJ.fr vehicle from behind after the team car had stopped to assist Chavanel. That sent the team car into the Frenchman, who was knocked to the ground and forced to abandon the race, though he escaped significant injury.
Shimano have subsequently issued an apology and will launch an investigation into the incidents.
“At Shimano we apologise for both incidents the Shimano-sponsored neutral service cars caused today at the Tour of Flanders,” read the statement.
“We especially apologise to the riders and teams involved, Jesse Sergent of Trek Factory Racing and Sébastien Chavanel of Française des Jeux. We wish them a speedy recovery.
“The drivers of the neutral cars are professionals with many years of experience in professional cycling races. We will investigate both incidents deeply and take appropriate action.”