After crashing at 70kph, Team Sky's Kurt-Asle Arvesen would be excused if he abandoned the Vuelta a España, but the hearty Norwegian soldiered on to finish stage 5 in Valdepenas de Jaen in 169th place, safely inside the time limit.
Arvesen was on a descent in the middle of the 187km stage when a child crossed the road in his path, and the rider could do nothing to avoid hitting him.
The Norwegian described the incident to VG Nett. "I saw that it was going to go completely wrong, I saw the whites of his eyes just before I hit him, fearing the worst. This is definitely the worst I have experienced on the bike," Arvesen said.
According to the report the boy ran into the road to pick up a bidon that was discarded by another rider, and was struck by Arvesen. The rider was also thrown by the impact, his bike destroyed, but Arvesen escaped only with bruises and lacerations, according to his team.
He was concerned about the boy, but said in a lucky coincidence, his team's support vehicle was parked near the scene and his masseur ran to help the child.
Arvesen was later told that the boy was relatively unhurt with some bruises and a cut lip.
Arvesen, in his final year before retirement, has had his share of mishaps this season. Not only did he crash in the team time trial on stage 1, he also crashed and broke the saddle off his bike in Paris-Roubaix, riding 20km without a seat before finally quitting the race.
He was due to race the world championships for Norway, but is now concerned he might not be fit to start in Copenhagen. "I must give it a few days first. Am I not 100 percent, but we have others who can do a good job. I will not take any decision on it now, but I feel surprisingly good."
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