'Rock star of cycling' forced to dodge dog in race
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.
“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.