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 joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.