Alaphilippe out-sprints Mollema at crash-marred San Sebastian Classic
Julian Alaphilippe beat Bauke Mollema to victory in a sprint finish at the San Sebastian Classic, but the race was overshadowed by a nasty crash involving Egan Bernal and Mikel Landa
Quick Step rider Alaphilippe and Mollema, the 2016 champion, broke clear with eight of the 228.7 kilometres remaining in Spain after Bernal and Landa, two of the race favourites, were taken to hospital.
The pair were caught up in a multi-rider pile-up around 20km from the finish, with Colombian Bernal suffering "a serious facial trauma".
"He is awake and talking. He has had a precautionary scan to assess for further injuries which revealed a nasal fracture and maxillary injury," Team Sky said in a statement.
The 21-year-old will remain in hospital overnight for observation and further treatment.
Movistar said Landa was left in "huge pain" with a sore back and placed in an immobilising brace. He was set to undergo exams to determine the extent of his injuries.
The 26-year-old Alaphilippe continued the good form that saw him win a pair of mountain stages on this year's Tour de France and earn the polka dot jersey for the best climber.
Saturday's race favoured the climbers, with eight climbs in total including a double ascent of the category one Jaizkibel.
Alaphilippe and Mollema escaped on the day's final climb, the Murgil Tontorra which featured sections with a gradient of 22 percent, before the Frenchman shone again in a two-man sprint.
"I've had a good season," said Alaphilippe. "I was well placed for this sprint. I waited until the last moment because I knew the climb was very difficult and when Mollema decided to go for it I followed him."
Egan Bernal in bad Shape
Below video shows the fatal moment of a crash on the first passage of the finish line. In the nervous run-up to the Murgil Tontora, the feared climb with eight kilometers to go, American Benjamin King (Dimension Data) caused a crash that took out Egan Bernal and Movistar-leader Mikel Landa.
Landa lay on his side and had to be removed on a stretcher, Movistar said "He was taken to the hospital with a collar around the neck. Hopefully everything is fine!"
Egan Bernal was seen laying motionless on the ground for a long time. According to the medical updates, Bernal has suffered a cranial trauma, broken teeth, a ruptured lip and possibly a jaw fracture. The young Colombian had played an important role in the Tour de France victory for Geraint Thomas and was one of the top favorites for the win today.
Benjamin King, the cause of the crash, apologized afterwards on Twitter. "I want to offer my sincere apologies to the riders who crashed today due to my actions. I looked back for my teammates when the rider next to me tapped my front wheel. It is terrible if you happen to something like that, but even worse if you also harm others. I hope everyone is okay. "