Top Kiwi cyclist George Bennett has produced an incredible ride by hanging with some of the sport's best climbers at the Tour of the Alps, just 24 hours after colliding with a car.
Bennett, 28, kept pace during the final 19-kilometre climb to finish the race's opening stage in Italy among an elite group of riders that included multiple Tour de France winner Chris Froome.
His first-up result in the arduous race that includes multiple climbing stages continues Bennett's good form as he builds up to next month's Giro d'Italia grand tour.
Yet a day earlier, Bennett thought he was simply lucky not to have ended up in a wheelchair or worse after crashing and catapulting over the roof of a car that turned in front of him.
"It was a very lucky escape, very lucky considering what could have been," he said.
"I didn't even get a finger on the brake. I just went full whack into the side. If it had been a bigger car and I hadn't been able to go over the top of him I would've been completely stuffed.
"It was a pretty small car and it had roof racks on. I managed to get my body over but my legs caught the roof racks and pulled them straight off."
Bennett said he felt sore everywhere after the crash but seemed to have no lasting injuries.