The female Tour de France devolved into chaos on Thursday as a mega-pileup swallowed dozens of riders just 45 kilometers from the finish line. Several of the riders suffered injuries and one was rushed to the hospital.
Thursday was the fifth stage of the very first female Tour de France. This stage included a 175-kilometer trip from Bar-Le-Duc to Saint-Die-Des-Vosges. This stage was seen as a sprint before the challenging Vosges mountain range on Friday.
With 130 kilometers out of the way, riders began to quicken their pace with an open straight up ahead. It was here that the pack tightened up, almost brushing handle bars.
It took one rider to go down to take a majority of the pack with her and those behind soon crashed into the back of the pile. Eventually the road was fully blocked as medics raced to the scene.
Those who were OK quickly scrambled back onto their bikes to hunt down the leaders, but several were injured, including Danish star Emma Norsgaard of Movistar, who was rushed to the hospital with a broken collarbone.
Last month, Italian rider Daniel Oss broke his neck in the very same stage after colliding with a fan and the previous years race saw half the peloton collected on the fifth stage as well.