This Terrifying Crash Caused A 20-Rider Pile-Up At Tour de France

Six riders participating in the Tour de France abandoned the race, including race leader Fabian Cancellara, who fractured his spine in the high-speed crash.

In what is being called one of the worst crashes in the history of the race, the 2015 Tour de France had to be temporarily stopped during stage three.

The pile-up, involving around 20 riders, came with a little under 60 km (37 miles) to go in the stage.

"On a straight road in clear conditions with bright sunshine, FDJ rider William Bonnet clipped the wheel of Warren Barguil in front and went down suddenly, causing a ripple through the peloton that took down scores of riders," according to AFP.

Several riders were reportedly seen “writhing in agony” while others were stretchered away in neck braces.

In a rare move, officials temporarily stopped – or neutralized – the race for about 20 minutes.

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Race leader and yellow jersey bearer Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland, along with Tom Dumoulin, Simon Gerrans, William Bonnet, Laurens ten Dam and Dmitry Kozontchuk, had to abandon the race.

Cancellara and two others were hospitalized. He later tweeted that he "broke some bones" and that his Tour was over:

Following the nasty crash, Tour de France organizers released an official statement:

“Due to the extraordinary circumstances of the crash at a very high speed, the race was neutralized to allow the injured riders to be back in the peloton. Twenty-five minutes after the crash, a new start was given at the top of the côte de Bohisseau with 50 km to go.”

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