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

Opponents had been caught within the unhealthy 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 — had been hit by one hell of a hailstorm,” stated a tweet from Israel Begin-Up Nation (ISN).

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

Belgian bike owner Tim Declercq was left with massive 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 Lodges-Very important Idea’s Maxime Chevalier, additionally had purple marks throughout his again.

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

“Usually when you will have this type of hailstone you simply keep dwelling however we had been nonetheless driving, we nonetheless had virtually 2km to the highest of the climb.

“I felt fairly unhealthy for the spectators as properly on the aspect of the highway as a result of they had been there with none shelter.

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

In keeping with ISN, one of many workforce’s riders took cowl in a tent 500 meters from the end, whereas Group 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 remaining kilometer and completed eight seconds forward of France’s Thibaut Pinot.

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