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Man leaps barriers to avoid riders in Volta a Portugal sprint finish

A man is seen (on right) leaping to safety as the peloton charges to finish of stage 1 at 2022 Volta a Portugal
A man is seen (on right) leaping to safety as the peloton charges to finish of stage 1 at 2022 Volta a Portugal (Image credit: Volta a Portugal)

As the sprint finish on stage 1 of the Volta a Portugal was barreling into the final bend with just 250 metres to the line, an individual was on the course and had to leap the barriers to avoid the oncoming riders.

Video shows the man, wearing a lanyard and possibly credentialled by the race, running along the barriers. Once he is passed by the final motorbike escort, he looks over his shoulder to see the front of the bunch just metres behind him.

With quick reflexes and great agility, the man hurdles to safety into a spectator-free zone with 200m to go.

Fortunately, the move did not disrupt the fine stage victory by Wildlife Generation's Scott McGill.

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The incident evoked the finish of this year's Scheldeprijs, where Tim Merlier gained attention not for his ninth place in Schoten but for a similar leapfrog when he was rolling back down the finishing straight only to be confronted by the sprint for 14th place hurtling toward him.

Merlier had to hoist his bike over the barriers before climbing off the course and made it just in time for the sprint, won by Lotto Soudal's Arnaud De Lie, to pass. Merlier was handed a 200 CHF fine for the manoeuvre.

The 10-day Volta a Portugal started on Thursday amid a cloud of doping cases, police raids and controversy as the W52-Porto team withdrew after being suspended by the UCI for team members being caught up in the Operation Prova Limpa doping investigation.

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Laura Weislo

Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. A former elite-level road racer who dabbled in cyclo-cross and track, Laura has a passion for all three disciplines. When not working she likes to go camping and explore lesser traveled roads, paths and gravel tracks.