Stray objects can be a danger to pro cyclists –remember Fabian Cancellara shattering his collarbone at the 2012 Tour of Flanders when a water bottle got caught in his wheel? – but here’s a new one; Tinkoff-Saxo’s Matti Breschel is nursing his injuries after he was felled by a “flying mattress” on Sunday after the final stage of the Tour of Oman.
The Dane explained what happened on the team’s website: “After the stage, we were riding back to our hotel and on a descent when I was going 70 kilometres an hour, a mattress flew into my front wheel and brought the bike to a standstill.
“I hit the asphalt pretty hard and lost a lot of skin on my legs and face and the wound on my knee had to be stitched up.
“It’s still too early to say but I trust it doesn’t influence my preparations for the classic campaign and I’ll stick to my regular training programme.
“I’m not concerned at this moment,” added Breschel, who is still planning to ride Paris-Nice which starts a fortnight on Sunday.
There’s no word on how big the mattress was, or what caused it to take to the air, but we’re guessing that a “Flying Bedstead” – the name Rolls-Royce gave in the 1950s to its experimental vertical take-off and landing aircraft that would form the basis of the technology behind the Harrier Jump Jet – wasn’t involved.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.