Team Sky's Sir Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas were lucky to escape injury as they managed to avoid a 50-rider pile-up during the Scheldeprijs one-day race in Belgium.
The crash which saw Katusha's Alexander Kristoff win his second race of the week, happened inside the final kilometre of the race, taking out 50 riders and marring the end of the penultimate cobbled classic of the season.
Although Wiggins, 34, and Thomas, 28, got away unscathed, fellow Sky rider, Elia Viviani crashed into the roadside barriers and had to be taken to hospital.
Italian Viviani, 26, who was hoping for a podium finish in the Tour of Flanders, was complaining of pains in his arms and ribs and was taken for an x-ray.
"It was fortunate that none of our other riders were involved," said Team Sky sports director Servais Knaven. "It was a nasty crash."
Norway's Kristoff, 27, won the race, having also won the Tour of Flanders last Sunday. Paris - Roubaix was Wiggins' last race as a member of Team Sky before he heads off to lead his new team, Team Wiggins, which will be solely devoted to training endurance track athletes for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next summer.
Bora-Argon 18's Sam Bennett, 24, was among the most injured in the crash, suffering many scrapes, cuts and abrasions.
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