SPORTS

Horrible Tour De France Crash Brings Down 20 Riders, Briefly Stops Race

Joaquim Rodriguez was among the few cyclists having a good day during Monday's Stage Three of the Tour de France.

The Spanish cyclist emerged the day's winner during the 159.5 kilometer stage (about 100 miles) that stretches between the Belgian cities of Anvers and Huy.

joaquim rodriguez
Joaquim Rodriguez of Spain and Team Katusha celebrates winning stage three of the 2015 Tour de France, a 154km stage between Antwerp and Huy, on July 5 in Antwerp, Belgium. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

But earlier in the day, a massive crash brought down 20 riders, including race leader Fabian Cancellara. Cancellara leapt into the air with his bike still attached to him before hitting the grass and somersaulting.

tour de france crash
Scores of riders lie on the road after crashing during the third stage of the Tour de France on Monday. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

In addition to the heartbreak of ceding the yellow jersey after the hard fall, tests revealed Cancellara had fractured his spine, forcing him to withdraw from the race entirely.

tour de france fabian
Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland riding for Trek Factory Racing in the overall race leader yellow jersey is attended to after being involved in a crash with 65 km remaining in stage three of the 2015 Tour de France. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Frenchman William Bonnet crashed with less than 37 miles left in the stage, and other riders around him soon tumbled. Bonnet was carried away on a stretcher and wearing a cervical neck brace. Three other racers in addition to Cancellara and Bonnet withdrew from the race following the crash.

tour de france crash
William Bonnet of France holds his head after crashing with scores of other riders during the third stage of the Tour de France. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

The crash first prompted officials to neutralize the peloton -- effectively have racers slow and hold their relative positions -- before they stopped it altogether for about 20 minutes, according to ESPN.

tour de france crash
Daryl Impey of South Africa riding for Orica-GreenEdge; William Bonnet of France riding for FDJ; Simon Gerrans of Australia riding for Orica-GreenEdge; Jose Mendes of Portugal riding for Bora-Argon 18; Greg Henderson of New Zealand riding for Lotto Soudal; and Ramon Sinkeldam of the Netherlands riding for Giant-Alpecin lay on the ground after being involved in a crash in stage three of the 2015 Tour de France. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

England's Chris Froome, now the overall race leader, will don the yellow jersey for Stage Four on Tuesday.

"It's an amazing feeling to be in the yellow jersey," Froome told the BBC. "I wouldn't say its too early to take the yellow jersey. I'd definitely rather be in this position than having to make time up on my rivals."

chris froome tour de france 2015
Chris Froome of Great Britain riding for Team Sky leads the race ahead of Alberto Contador (L) of Spain riding for Tinkoff-Saxo and Tejay van Garderen (L) of the United States riding for BMC Racing Team. Froome finished second on the stage and earned the overall race leaders yellow jersey. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

  • Riders get up after crashing during the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 159.5 kilometers (99.1 miles) wit
    Christophe Ena/AP
    Riders get up after crashing during the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 159.5 kilometers (99.1 miles) with start in Antwerp and finish in Huy, Belgium, Monday, July 6, 2015.
  • Scores of riders lie on the road after crashing during the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 159.5 kilomete
    Christophe Ena/AP
    Scores of riders lie on the road after crashing during the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 159.5 kilometers (99.1 miles) with start in Antwerp and finish in Huy, Belgium, Monday, July 6, 2015.
  • Laurens ten Dam of the Netherlands is treated for injuries after crashing with several of other riders during the third stage
    Christophe Ena/AP
    Laurens ten Dam of the Netherlands is treated for injuries after crashing with several of other riders during the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 159.5 kilometers (99.1 miles) with start in Antwerp and finish in Huy, Belgium, Monday, July 6, 2015.
  • Riders get up after crashing during the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 159.5 kilometers (99.1 miles) wit
    Christophe Ena/AP
    Riders get up after crashing during the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 159.5 kilometers (99.1 miles) with start in Antwerp and finish in Huy, Belgium, Monday, July 6, 2015.
  • Riders get up after crashing during the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 159.5 kilometers (99.1 miles) wit
    Christophe Ena/AP
    Riders get up after crashing during the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 159.5 kilometers (99.1 miles) with start in Antwerp and finish in Huy, Belgium, Monday, July 6, 2015.
  • Riders collect themselves after a crash with 65km left to race in stage three of the 2015 Tour de France from Anvers to Huy o
    Doug Pensinger via Getty Images
    Riders collect themselves after a crash with 65km left to race in stage three of the 2015 Tour de France from Anvers to Huy on July 6, 2015 in Huy, Belgium.
  • William Bonnet of France holds his head after crashing with scores of other riders during the third stage of the Tour de Fran
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    William Bonnet of France holds his head after crashing with scores of other riders during the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 159.5 kilometers (99.1 miles) with start in Antwerp and finish in Huy, Belgium, Monday, July 6, 2015. Bonnet abandoned the race following the crash.
  • Scores of riders lie on the road after crashing during the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 159.5 kilomete
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Scores of riders lie on the road after crashing during the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 159.5 kilometers (99.1 miles) with start in Antwerp and finish in Huy, Belgium, Monday, July 6, 2015.
  • Scores of riders lie on the road after crashing during the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 159.5 kilomete
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Scores of riders lie on the road after crashing during the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 159.5 kilometers (99.1 miles) with start in Antwerp and finish in Huy, Belgium, Monday, July 6, 2015.
  • Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, gets back on his bicycle after crashing with sev
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, gets back on his bicycle after crashing with several riders during the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 159.5 kilometers (99.1 miles) with start in Antwerp and finish in Huy, Belgium, Monday, July 6, 2015.
  • William Bonnet of France holds his head after crashing with scores of other riders during the third stage of the Tour de Fran
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    William Bonnet of France holds his head after crashing with scores of other riders during the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 159.5 kilometers (99.1 miles) with start in Antwerp and finish in Huy, Belgium, Monday, July 6, 2015. Bonnet abandoned the race following the crash.
  • William Bonnet of France is carried onto a stretcher after crashing with several other riders during the third stage of the T
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    William Bonnet of France is carried onto a stretcher after crashing with several other riders during the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 159.5 kilometers (99.1 miles) with start in Antwerp and finish in Huy, Belgium, Monday, July 6, 2015.
  • Riders get up after crashing during the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 159.5 kilometers (99.1 miles) wit
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Riders get up after crashing during the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 159.5 kilometers (99.1 miles) with start in Antwerp and finish in Huy, Belgium, Monday, July 6, 2015.
  • Riders wait for a restart after the race was neutralized following a crash involving scores of riders during the third stage
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Riders wait for a restart after the race was neutralized following a crash involving scores of riders during the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 159.5 kilometers (99.1 miles) with start in Antwerp and finish in Huy, Belgium, Monday, July 6, 2015.
  • William Bonnet of France is carried onto a stretcher after crashing with several other riders during the third stage of the T
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    William Bonnet of France is carried onto a stretcher after crashing with several other riders during the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 159.5 kilometers (99.1 miles) with start in Antwerp and finish in Huy, Belgium, Monday, July 6, 2015. Bonnet abandoned the race following the crash.
  • Laurens ten Dam of the Netherlands is treated for injuries after crashing with several of other riders during the third stage
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Laurens ten Dam of the Netherlands is treated for injuries after crashing with several of other riders during the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 159.5 kilometers (99.1 miles) with start in Antwerp and finish in Huy, Belgium, Monday, July 6, 2015. Bonnet abandoned the race following the crash.
  • Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, grimaces after catching up with the pack followi
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, grimaces after catching up with the pack following a crash as riders wait for a restart after the race was neutralized following a crash involving scores of riders during the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 159.5 kilometers (99.1 miles) with start in Antwerp and finish in Huy, Belgium, Monday, July 6, 2015.
  • Australia's Michael Rogers talk to the race direction as riders wait for a restart after the race was neutralized following a
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Australia's Michael Rogers talk to the race direction as riders wait for a restart after the race was neutralized following a crash involving scores of riders during the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 159.5 kilometers (99.1 miles) with start in Antwerp and finish in Huy, Belgium, Monday, July 6, 2015.
  • Australia's Michael Rogers, down right corner,  talks to the race direction as Germany's Andre Greipel, wearing the best spri
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Australia's Michael Rogers, down right corner, talks to the race direction as Germany's Andre Greipel, wearing the best sprinter's green jersey, and other riders wait for a restart after the race was neutralized following a crash involving scores of riders during the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 159.5 kilometers (99.1 miles) with start in Antwerp and finish in Huy, Belgium, Monday, July 6, 2015.
CONVERSATIONS