The second leg of the Critērija du Dauphiné cycling race in southern and eastern France was badly left at the feet of the weather gods on Thursday.
Slovenian Primoz Roglic, who won the second stage, had already reached the finish line when a fierce hail hit, according to Cyclingnews, among others. Cyclists who still fought for the top of the Col de Porte, as well as spectators along the way, instead had to seek refuge.
The awards ceremony in the finish area was also interrupted by a storm as the roof of the podium structure collapsed.
Tim Declercq, 31, from Belgium, shared a stopping picture on Instagram of what giant hailstones did on his back.
- As if the competition was not painful enough for the legs, Declercq wrote his picture.
Tim Declercq shared such an image of his back skin after a hailstorm hit a cycling race.
The Israeli Israel Start-Up Nation shared videos on their Twitter account in the midst of the storm. The manager of the stable is Finnish ex-professional cyclist Kjell Carlström.
- Many cyclists - including our boys - were hit by a hailstorm. Worse than we have ever experienced. Total chaos and mess. Cyclists were looking for shelter when small ping pong balls hit them, the Israeli stable updated on Twitter.
The Israeli stable later shared another video on their Twitter account.
- In seconds, the roads looked like an icy trough, and the cyclists fought desperately to stay upright. Or some decided to walk to the finish line on an icy road.
The third video, on the other hand, shows how Tony Martin, a German from the Team Jumbo-Visma stable, is hiding under a tree in the shelter with fans.
- I've never experienced anything like it. I just wanted to cross the finish line and get on the bus. It's crazy! described tweeted Israeli stable driver Guy Niv.
After two stages, the race is led by Roglic, who won the second stage. Second is Thibaut Pinot from France and Emanuel Buchmann from Germany is third.
Four-time winner of the Tour of France, Chris Froome, is in 59th place.
The highlight of the cycling year The roundabout in France shifted from mid-summer to later this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is due to start on 29 August and end in Paris on 20 September.
Chris Froome will move to the team managed by Kjell Carlström next season.
Photo: Fabio Ferrari / Lapresse / Zuma / MVphotos