But his adroit swerve to avoid crashing into a dog walker during a race in Italy is now perhaps one of his most memorable and entertaining maneuvers.

A few minutes into his individual time trial during the Tirreno-Adriatico race through the city streets of San Bedendetto del Tronto, the 27-year-old had to stray onto the pavement as a woman ambled across a designated crossing point with a dog.

In later admitting he saw the funny side, the Bora-Hansgrohe team rider also said he and the pedestrian were “lucky” to escape without major incident.

“I didn’t brake because I was in my time trial position. I saw her really late, so the only way to avoid her was to go off road,” the Slovakian posted on social media.

“Maybe the woman with the dog was right after all,” he joked in a later Instagram post. “I was riding the wrong way and she was on the pedestrian crossing. I was also speeding and probably got caught by the radar.”

Already with two stage victories at the Italian event, he finished 72nd with a time of 12:37, enough to secure the red jersey as winner of the points classification. He has won that sprinters’ category five times in a row at the Tour de France.

The two-time world road race champion admitted he merely wanted to finish the stage as he prepared for Saturday’s Milan-San Remo race, the 108th edition of the season’s traditional opening classic event.

“It was a rest day for me. I’m happy nothing happened and I’m looking forward to Saturday,” he said.


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