The opening time trial in Tirreno-Adriatico, already rain-soaked and treacherous, turned disastrous for Bora-Hansgrohe when a pedestrian crossing the course at a marked crosswalk stepped directly in front of the oncoming riders.
The first riders swerved to avoid the man, but a mid-pack Rafal Majka plowed into him, taking down Oscar Gatto who was directly behind him.
The remaining riders continued on without the pair, who eventually re-mounted, but their momentum had been lost and they finished down on the quickest teams, led to the line by Peter Sagan 23 seconds down on then-leaders Dimension Data.
Daniel Oss was at the front of the Bora-Hansgrohe train when the incident happened. Still sounding shocked from what had happened, he said that he saw the man on the other side of the road but did not see what happened behind him.
"I saw [the pedestrian] on the other side, he was walking and I was trying to anticipate what might happen. I avoided him. I was in front and I was just looking forward, because with the bike and the rain." he said. "I don’t really understand. I’m really sorry for my teammates and the man there. I don’t know. It’s bad.
"We were just riding and so focused. We would like to be safe for sure, but sometimes these things happen."
Someone crosses road in front of the Bora-Hansgrohe team during the Tirreno-Adriatico TTT pic.twitter.com/bhJUJqdnIY— the Inner Ring (@inrng) March 13, 2019