We’ve seen dogs cause crashes at bike races before, and we’ve seen riders somehow manage to stay upright when hitting the deck looks inevitable – well, here’s a video from an Under-23 race in Italy’s Lombardy region yesterday that combines the two in spectacular fashion.
The incident happened in the final lap of 38th edition of the GP Sportivi Sestesi, starting and finishing a few kilometres northwest of the city of Cremona, and involved the three riders who had formed the day’s break – the AG2R-Citroen Under 23 pairing of Valentin Retailleau and Paul Lapeira, and Beltrami Tsa Tre Colli rider Lorenzo Balestra.
Lapeira was clearly surprised by the animal but managed to avoid him while behind, his team mate Retailleau seemed rather more rattled and seemed to be heading for an appointment with the asphalt but grabbed Balestra and clung on to the Italian, who pulled up by the roadside to dump his unwanted passenger – and seemed on the verge of going ballistic at his enforced stop as he rode away, apparently with a mechanical problem.
The dog, meanwhile, pursued by someone who may have been its owner, or may have been a spectator, trotted off in the direction the peloton was headed from, although there are no reports of any subsequent canine-caused carnage.
The race itself was won in a sprint by Davide Boscaro of Team Colpack Ballan with his team-mate Davide Persico second, with the General Store Essegibi Fratelli Curia rider Cristian Rocchetta third.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.