Dark skies shadowed the finish line of the Critérium du Dauphiné on Thursday, and this time it wasn’t the final Hors Catégorie climb that the cyclists had to worry about; instead, it was a torrent of large hailstones.
The Stage 2 win had already been secured by Primož Roglič of Team Jumbo-Visma, but as the peloton was making its way to the finish up the Col de Porte, the skies opened up. Numerous images and videos of the meteorological onslaught surfaced across social media, shared by teams and riders.
Tim Declerq of Deceuninck-QuickStep posted a gruesome image of his injuries to his Instagram story, showing a mass of angry, red welts littered across his back and neck. Team B&B Hotels-Vital Concept shared an image of team rider Maxime Chevalier’s back as well, with similar aftermath.
Hit by huge hailstones. Incredible pic.twitter.com/dcVrVk4jCH
— José Been (@TourDeJose) August 13, 2020
— B&B HOTELS - VITAL CONCEPT P/B KTM (@BBHotels_VC) August 13, 2020
Team Israel Start-Up Nation documented much of the hailstorm in detail in a series of Tweets: “Within seconds the road looked like an ice rink and riders were desperately trying to stay on their bikes...or to decide to walk up to the finish line on the ice.”
They also described it as one of the worst things they’ve experienced. “The scene was total chaos and mayhem... riders running for cover, hit hard by icy mini ping pong balls.”
[Want to fly up hills? Climb! gives you the workouts and mental strategies to conquer your nearest peak.]
— Israel Start-Up Nation / Israel Cycling Academy (@YallaIsraelSUN) August 13, 2020
Many riders sought shelter along the side of the road. Israel Start-Up tweeted that team rider Nils Politt took cover in a tent near the finish line, while teammate Tony Martin gladly accepted a small, blow-up “raft” from a fan to shield himself.
“Hard day at the office, but better times will soon come,” Team Deceuninck-QuickStep tweeted.
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