September 27, 2019 / 9:01 PM / 10 months ago

Heartbreak for disqualified Dutchman Eekhoff in under-23 race

HARROGATE (Reuters) - Dutch rider Nils Eekhoff suffered heartbreak at the UCI Road World Championships on Friday when he was disqualified after crossing the line first in the under-23 men’s road race.

A gripping crash-filled race ended with a seven-man sprint for the line in Harrogate with Eekhoff edging out Italian Samuele Battistella and Swiss Stefan Bissegger.

A mud-splattered Eekhoff, 21, celebrated in the finishing area but after a lengthy delay while the commissaires reviewed race footage he was disqualified for drafting behind a team car.

Eekhoff had crashed earlier in the race and, according to race officials, broke the rules by using the slipstream of his team car to get back into the race.

Battistella was promoted to gold with a large contingent of Dutch fans booing in the fanzone. Britain’s Thomas Pidcock was elevated into the bronze medal place.

Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Ken Ferris

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