Critérium du Dauphiné: Riders hit by ‘icy ping pong balls’ as hailstorm descends on race


Rivals have been caught within the dangerous climate just a few kilometers from the race end on the high of the Col de Porte within the south-west of France.

“Many riders — together with our boys — have been hit by one hell of a hailstorm,” stated a tweet from Israel Begin-Up Nation (ISN).

“The scene was complete chaos and mayhem … riders operating for canopy, hit exhausting by icy mini ping pong balls.”

Belgian bicycle owner Tim Declercq was left with giant purple welts on his again from the hail, which descended shortly after the race leaders had completed.

“As if Le Dauphiné was not painfull (sic) sufficient for the legs #hailstones,” Declercq wrote on Instagram.

He later posted a photograph displaying how the redness had began to subside.

One other rider, B&B Accommodations-Important Idea’s Maxime Chevalier, additionally had purple marks throughout his again.

“It was loopy, the hail was so large,” stated ISN’s Man Niv in a video posted by the group on social media.

“Usually when you’ve got this sort of hailstone you simply keep residence however we have been nonetheless using, we nonetheless had virtually 2km to the highest of the climb.

“I felt fairly dangerous for the spectators as effectively on the aspect of the highway as a result of they have been there with none shelter.

“It was fairly painful really. I simply wished to complete with it and go straight into the bus … it was not the most effective expertise for the top of at the present time.”

In line with ISN, one of many group’s riders took cowl in a tent 500 meters from the end, whereas Crew Jumbo-Visma’s Tony Martin was given an inflatable raft to shelter beneath by a fan.

The 135km stage, which began in Vienne, was received by Slovenian rider Primož Roglic, who broke away from the lead pack within the ultimate kilometer and completed eight seconds forward of France’s Thibaut Pinot.

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