The first crash of the 2014 Giro d’Italia has happened in Belfast – nearly two months before the race is due to start in Ireland for the first time. The rider to come down wasn’t one of the stars vying to win the maglia rosa in May, but a cycle commuter in the Northern Ireland capital.
IT professional Chris Lindsay had the misfortune to ride across a wet patch of pink, chalk-based paint that had been painted on a cycle path for a photoshoot to help promote the race's visit to Ireland, complete with the words “Be part of the start."
That happened quite literally in Chris's case, as his bike and clothing became splattered in pink paint.
Yesterday morning, he tweeted this picture of his bike, with the caption: “Came off my bike this morning cycling into work. On wet paint from Giro d’Italia Start line!”
— Chris Lindsay (@ChrisALindsay) March 26, 2014
The crash happened as Chris's bike slid from under him as he sought to turn off the cycle path to head for work. He told road.cc there was no warning that the paint was wet.
One of the levers on his bike was bent, the wheel was knocked out of true and there was also some superficial damage to the frame. He's also still nursing bruises after his tumble.
The location, on the towpath near the Gasworks, wasn’t where the two stages beginning in Belfast will actually start – the Titanic Quarter – but instead was chosen to help publicise the event.
Chris, who works in IT, said that workers had been due to remove to remove the paint once the photo opportunity was over, but did not do so.
He says the experience, while leaving him annoyed, won't put him off watching the Giro when it comes to town.
The Giro d’Italia starts in Belfast with a team time trial on Friday 9 May and the following day sees a road stage starting and ending in the same city and taking on the Giant’s Causeway.
On Sunday 11 May, there is a road stage from Armagh to Dublin, before the race heads back to Italy.
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.