Thursday’s stage of the Tour de France was meant to be all about nursing sprint contender Fabio Jakobsen up the climbs within the time cut for QuickStep-AlphaVinyl, but a dog on the course meant Yves Lampaert also had to nurse his injured body through almost the entire stage finishing on top of Alpe d’Huez.
Lampaert, who also came off dramatically at Paris-Roubaix when he clipped a spectator applauding on the roadside, again had an unexpected encounter which sent him crashing to ground on stage 12 of the French Grand Tour.
The 31-year-old rode across the finish line on the top of Alpe d’Huez in 156th place – just ahead of Jakobsen and nearly 40 minutes behind stage winner Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) – with a big hole in his kit along with a big red wound on his right thigh.
“Crash because of a dog,” was the comment Lampaert added to an image on his Instagram story which clearly displayed his injury. “After already many times; please keep your dog at home!!!!!”
There was no further information provided on Lampaert's injuries or whether there was any contact with or injury to the dog, however a report in Het Laatste Nieuws said the incident occured close to the start of the race, with Wout van Aert among those avoiding the dog while just behind Lampaert fell.
"Suddenly that beast crossed the street and I couldn't go anywhere," Lampaert said in the Belgian newspaper.
This is not the first crash of the Tour for the QuickStep-AlphaVinyl rider, who also came down on stage 2 while wearing yellow after a touch of wheels in the peloton on the Great Belt Bridge. In that incident he was quickly back on the bike with no obvious injuries. This time, though, there was no missing the consequences of the dog's foray into the peloton.
It is also far from the first time an incident like this has occurred in a bike race, or at the Tour de France. Among them was a dog running into the bunch on stage 18 of 2012, with Philippe Gilbert, Denis Menchov and Arthur Vichot all coming down and in 2007 there were two notable incidents.
Marcus Burghardt came off on stage 9, fortunately with no injury to him or the dog. Later in that edition of the race on stage 18 Sandy Casar also went sliding across the road after an unrestrained dog walked straight in front of his wheel, but then the French rider went on to win the stage.
QuickStep-AlphaVinyl will be hoping that the surprise winner of stage 1, who now sits in 156th place overall, will bounce back just as quickly as Casar did, so Lampaert can slot back into his place on the lead-out train for the team's stage 2 winner, Jakobsen. With the high mountains of the Alps behind them, the 192.6km stage 13 from Bourg-d'Oisans could offer an opportunity for the Tour de France debutant to quickly yield a reward for the effort he and the team made to get through the mountains.
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