The cycling world has been left stunned by the gruesome injuries revealed by star riders after a storm caused “total chaos”.
The cycling world has been left stunned by the gruesome injuries revealed by star riders after a storm caused “total chaos”.

Athlete’s freak injuries in hailstorm ‘mayhem’

The cycling world has been left shocked by the gruesome injuries revealed by star riders, including stage winner Primoz Roglic, after a freak hail storm in the middle of the Criterium du Dauphine in France.

Roglic was just one of many riders to show off painful welts spotted across his shoulder and back after a flash hailstorm fell on the peloton after the Stage 2 ride from Vienne to Col de Port in the iconic Pyrenees mountain range.

The stage quickly became a nightmare for riders when heavy rain and hail began to fall in the middle of the climb - but it only got truly scary for the riders and support staff after Roglic had crossed the line and clinched the overall lead of the race.

With some sections of the field still crossing the line, the storm whipped into a devastating hail upsurge which broke apart temporary event structures and sent panicked riders scurrying for cover.

The powerful hailstorm was described by team Start-Up Nation as "worse than anything we experienced".

"The scene was total chaos and mayhem... riders running for cover, hit hard by icy mini ping pong balls," the team said on Twitter.

 

Primoz Roglic skated across the line.
Primoz Roglic skated across the line.

The team also described the road as an instant ice rink with the hail taking just seconds to cover the scene.

Jumbo-Visma's Tony Martin was saved by a trackside fan who handed him an inflated rubber raft to protect himself from the falling ice balls.

According to reports, the freak storm included heavy hail stones that left countless riders, spectators and staff with serious bruising.

The end of the official podium presentations were cancelled when the roof of the temporary dais was blown off.

Roglic was actually one of the lucky ones, with many other riders struck down and forced off their bikes before the finish line of the stage.

Some were seen huddling under trees alongside terrified spectators, while other cyclists are reported to have jumped in random cars within the convoy trailing the field.

 

 

Riders caught in the storm showed off their painful injuries on social media after the stage.

 

Very ouchy. Credit: @damien_howson, Instagram.
Very ouchy. Credit: @damien_howson, Instagram.

At least there was some sweetness for Roglic to go with his bitter aches as he celebrated victory in the second stage eight seconds ahead of Thibaut Pinot.

Four-time Tour de France winner Froome, who was involved in a high-speed crash at last year's Criterium which almost cost the Team Ineos rider his career, finished in 49th place, 8 minutes 32 seconds behind Jumbo-Visma's Roglic.

Slovenian Roglic attacked 650 metres from the finish line to leave France's Thibaut Pinot in second spot and Germany's Emanuel Buchmann in third.

 

Reigning Tour de France champion and Froome's Ineos teammate Egan Bernal sits fourth in the overall rankings after finishing 10 seconds back in 10th on Thursday.

This season's Dauphine has been shortened and moved due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Friday's 157-kilometre (97.5-mile) third stage heads east from Corenc near Grenoble to the Alpine village of Saint-Martin-de-Belleville.

The Tour starts on August 29 with Froome's participation yet to be confirmed by Ineos before he leaves for Start-Up Nation at the end of the campaign.

"It's incredible to be back in the peloton, but keeping in mind I've only had a handful of days racing in over a year's time now," he said.

"Obviously I'm still finding the race rhythm but I'm feeling better and better as I do more days of racing. I'm feeling optimistic about the Tour."

- with AFP

Originally published as Star's freak injuries in storm 'mayhem'