Remco Evenepoel hit the deck early on the sodden fifth stage of the Giro d'Italia after a loose dog ran into the bunch, causing riders to brake suddenly.
The Belgian, who passed on the race lead to Team DSM's Andreas Leknessund yesterday was back in the rainbow bands today, but endured a nervous minute sat on the roadside as the cycling world worried and speculated about if he would be able to continue.
It's been a disastrous start to stage 5 for Remco Evenepoel who hit the deck after a dog ran into the peloton! 🐕
Luckily the World Champion is back on his bike and in the peloton 💪
— GCN Racing (@GcnRacing) May 10, 2023
Commentating on GCN+, Sean Kelly told viewers it "was not looking good, he was sitting for a long time, but hopefully he can get back here".
A few anxious moments later and Evenepoel was, very gingerly, back on the bike with the support of his Soudal Quick-Step teammates, and a few kilometres later safely back in the bunch.
"The dog there... they had to go for the brakes and the riders behind, when it does slow up and you make a little bit of a change of line... down you go," Kelly continued. "We've seen already today the conditions, really really slippery."
Miserable conditions for the riders during the 171km stage from Atripalda to Salerno, several riders, including Samuele Zoccarato falling during the early push to make the breakaway before falls punctuated the run in.
And Remco's misfortune was not done with the first fall as he was brought down again as the pace ramped up towards the sprint and was visibly angry at something or somebody as he gesticulated with the team car and then a bloodied Davide Cimolai, another of the crash victims.
"More drama of the kind we don't want!" 🤯
Remco Evenepoel is 𝐃𝐎𝐖𝐍 for the second time today as a number of riders crash near the stage finish 💥💥
Luckily, no time will be lost as it is within the final 3km ⏱ pic.twitter.com/bSmUPtsnWC
— Eurosport (@eurosport) May 10, 2023
On the line, it was Kaden Groves' day, the Australian sprinter beating stage two winner Jonathan Milan to the victory however, once again the racing was marred by a crash, this time as Mark Cavendish clipped Alberto Dainese's rear wheel and was sent towards the barriers, somehow keeping his Wilier upright before sliding across the finish line after his momentum subsequently flung him over the handlebars. A miserable day to forget for many.
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.