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Debusschere delivers on Crashfest Thursday

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Belgian Champion Jens Debusschere delivered on his promise when he won a hotly contested sprint at Tirreno Adriatico. The sprint was marred by a nasty crash that took down Sky's Elia Viviani worst of all.

KURT DESPLENTEER/AFP/Getty Images

No cloud hangs over Debusschere, he looked fastest on the day even if some of the field was hindered by the crash behind. Pater Sagan and Bora's Sam Bennet who joined him on the podium were unaffected by the crash but simply couldn't match the Lotto-Soudal rider who won convincingly to continue a good run for the Belgian team.

Unlucky to come down in the crash were Elia Viviani and Sascha Modolo who looked worst off but also Giant's Luka Mezgec who got up quickly and seemed fairly unaffected. The origin of the accident appears to have been Mark Cavendish dropping his chain just as he was launching his final sprint. Veering suddenly to the right Viviani had no way of avoiding the Etixx rider's wheel and he crashed hard with Modolo then summersaulting over him. Viviani suffered no fractures but with bad bruising and roadrash the team will wait until tomorrow to make a decision on wether he continues in the race. Modolo bruised his wrist but he to seems to have avoided fractures and will take the start tomorrow.

Adriano Malori held on to his leaders jersey for another day but is expected to lose it tomorrow in the tough finish in Arezzo.

Top 10 Stage 2

  1. Jens Deusschere - Lotto-Soudal
  2. Peter Sagan - Tinkoff Saxo
  3. Sam Bennett - Bora-Argon18
  4. Aleksandr Porsev - katusha
  5. Tyler Farrar - MTN Qubeka
  6. Magnus Cort Nielsen - Orica
  7. Roger Kluge - IAM
  8. Nicola Ruffoni - Bardiani
  9. Zakkari Dempster - Bora-Argon18
  10. Mark Renshaw - Etixx-QS
Sadly two other notable crashes put a dampener on this Thursday. French prodigy Warren Barguil came down in a little kerfuffle on the final climb of todays Paris-Nice stage and had his race ruined. He was able to get back on his bike and limp to the finish but it is unclear if he can continue the race.

More disturbing was the crash that caused Lauren Rowney to break a collarbone in an otherwise thrilling sprint in the first of three races in Drenthe, the Drentse 8 van Westerveld. Giorgia Bronzini sprinted to a win ahead of breakaway companions Valentina Scandolara and Annemiek van Vleuten. Her win was overshadowed though by what looks from video to be a spectator intentionally grabbing at Rowney's handlebars to send her crashing to the ground. Hopefully the images are deceiving and this was just an accident but it's frankly hard to see.

Riders are of course eternally vulnerable in a sport where they are so often close to spectators but seeing someone intentionally causing harm is rare to see. Organizers in Drenthe have commented that the incident is being investigated. Drentse 8 is the prequel to the big World Cup Ronde van Drenthe on Saturday, a race we may actually have live video from if all the stars align. Fingers crossed for that and best wishes on a speedy recovery for Velocio-Sram's Loren Rowney.