As if rain, cold temperatures and a shortened stage weren't enough incentive for Egan Bernal to race hard to extend his Giro d'Italia lead, two spectators running alongside the Ineos Grenadiers rider on the Passo Giau during stage 16 might have given the Colombian an extra shot of adrenaline.
Television images were spotty during Monday's mountain stage, which was slashed to 153km and two mountain passes - the Fedaia and Pordoi - lopped off because of bad weather. But after RAI Sport uploaded the full video replay, images of two chainsaw-wielding spectators running alongside Bernal with their machines going were posted to social media. (Video is geo-restricted but you can watch the full replay no matter your location with ExpressVPN.)
Professional riders have faced plenty of crazed spectators over the years, being mooned, joined by thong-wearing Borat impersonators, chased by people costumed as dinosaurs or wielding gigantic syringes or inhalers, but the pair pictured in the video took their enthusiasm to a new and alarming level.
Bernal hardly seemed to notice as he felled his competition, putting almost half a minute into his nearest competitors, Romain Bardet (Team DSM) and Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) on the stage.
The Colombian has so far carved out a 2:24 lead in the standings over Caruso, with Hugh Carthy (EF Education-Nippo) third at 3:40.
🤪 El secreto de la subida de Bernal es que le ha “animado” un tío con una motosierra. #Giro pic.twitter.com/aIT6PUAbtcMay 24, 2021
Thank you for signing up to Cycling News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.