Chase group at Paris-Nice avoids downhill collision with car

    A group of riders ride a bike during the 8th and final stage of the 81st Paris-Nice.
A group of riders ride a bike during the 8th and final stage of the 81st Paris-Nice.

Final day of racing in Paris-Nice showcased impressive talent Tour de France contenders, including a dominant display of the overall winner Tadej Pogacar (Team Emirates UAE). However, the best cycling skills of the time did not lead to a podium, but instead paid dividends by avoiding disaster.

Somehow, the car ended up on a stretch of road where the riders were descending, and just over half of Stage 8’s 117.5 kilometers remained. A small group chasing the peloton managed to avoid a collision, and the whole thing was filmed by broadcast cameras.

Florian Seneschal (Soudal-QuickStep) posted a screenshot of the incident, which was broadcast on Eurosport and GCN, on their Twitter feed after the race ended, saying “Another day in the death race.”

The race exploded on the descent from the Côte de Châteauneuf, and soon after passing the 2nd category Côte de Beres-les-Alpes, disaster loomed.

Five riders took the lead with 50.5 km to go. Stefan Kung (Groupama FDJ), Clement Champoussin (Arkea Samsic), Oliver Naesen (AG2R-Citroën), Lucas Hamilton (Jayco AlUla) and Jan Tratnik (Jumlo-Visma) at full throttle only 10 seconds ahead of the big group, with the race leader Tadej Pogacar (Team Emirates UAE), who caught most of the lead. All of them were completely unaware that they had failed to completely close the track from local traffic behind them.

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Broadcast cameras caught an incident where a second group of 11 pursuers turned a tight corner on the downhill of Berret-les-Alpes and were forced to turn onto the right side of the road to avoid a small car that had apparently stopped after going uphill. opposite side of the road. The lead race bike in front of the group also appeared to swerve and miss the oncoming vehicle.

“Oh, my dear! How did this happen?” exclaimed American announcer and former professional racing driver Bob Roll on the air. peacockstreaming service for NBC Sports it was seen by the American audience. “It could have been an absolute nightmare.”

His broadcast partner and fellow former WorldTour driver Christian Vande Velde noted that riders were already taking risks on the road to catch the peloton, and the extra risk of a stray car on what should have been a closed track shouldn’t have been part of the equation.

The Eurosport broadcast shows the moment when the chase team misses the car that entered the Paris-Nice circuit on stage 8.
The Eurosport broadcast shows the moment when the chase team misses the car that entered the Paris-Nice circuit on stage 8.

“This is a residential road, Bob. You know, if you don’t secure every driveway, someone between the groups might just think that nothing is happening,” Vande Velde said.

Domen Novak (Team Emirates from the UAE), who tried to catch up with the peloton in front to help his teammate Pogacar, was one of the riders in this group of pursuers who turned out to be very attentive. There were no other reports of a lost vehicle on the route as his group passed by and continued their pursuit.

“Cycling is one of the worst sports, unfavorable for the safety of riders and spectators,” the Seneschal said in one of his social posts during Paris-Nice.

He also drew attention to other rider safety issues, from images of “road furniture” on display to an incident three days earlier when Julius Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) He was pushed from behind by a racing car while he was giving an interview for RAI Sport.

Less than two weeks ago, a horse with a halter ran onto the track. Strade Bianche Women. Media images captured the meeting as Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx) had to slow down in pursuit of the then leader. Christian Faulkner (Team Jayco-AlUla) less than 30 km left to walk and avoid contact with the animal.

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