Riders and spectators have been pummelled by hail after a freak storm struck the finish to Stage 2 of the Criterium du Dauphine on Thursday.
Primoz Roglic clinched the overall lead of the race by winning the second stage in France.
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But it was the drama at the back of the pack that stole the headlines.
Long after Roglic crossed the finish line, riders and spectators were forced to seek shelter as a frightening hail storm struck atop the Col de Porte.
Israel Start-Up Nation described the storm as “worse than anything we experienced.”
“The scene was total chaos and mayhem... riders running for cover, hit hard by icy mini ping pong balls,” they wrote on Twitter.
Some riders had to get off their bikes and walk, while the podium ceremony was cancelled after an inflatable roof collapsed.
Jumbo-Visma's Tony Martin was saved by a trackside fan who handed him an inflated rubber raft to protect himself from the falling ice balls.
At one point, the accumulation turned into floods and a guy like @tonymartin85 had to find a new shelter... Our own @guyniv1 said:”It hit me so hard... Never experienced something like that.., just wanted to cross the line and get to the bus... Crazy! ” @dauphine pic.twitter.com/21BwHcGvNn— Israel Start-Up Nation / Israel Cycling Academy (@YallaIsraelSUN) August 13, 2020
Riders including Belgian Tim Declercq posted photos on social media of their backs covered in red marks caused by the downpour.
Slovenian Roglic attacked 650 metres from the finish line to leave France's Thibaut Pinot in second spot and Germany's Emanuel Buchmann in third.
Vuelta a Espana champion Roglic is 12 seconds ahead of Groupama–FDJ rider Pinot in the overall standings, and a further two seconds ahead of Bora–Hansgrohe's Buchmann.
Tour champion Egan Bernal sits fourth in the overall rankings after finishing 10 seconds back in 10th on Thursday.
“It's a great result for our team... We all knew about the hard climb at the finish and we started to control the race from the beginning,” Roglic said.
“The guys are really strong so they managed it perfectly and in the end, I was happy to be able to win this.”
Chris Froome confident about Tour de France
Meanwhile, Chris Froome said he was positive about competing at this year’s race after continuing his comeback at the Criterium.
Froome, who was involved in a high-speed crash at last year’s Criterium which almost cost the Team Ineos rider his career and sidelined him for six months, finished in 49th place, 8 minutes 32 seconds behind Jumbo-Visma’s Roglic.
Reports in French and Italian media over the weekend claimed Froome’s selection by Ineos for the Tour, which starts on August 29, was under threat with the 35-year-old joining Israel Start-Up Nation at the end of the season.
“Obviously I'm still finding the race rhythm but I'm feeling better and better as I do more days of racing. I'm feeling optimistic about the Tour,” Froome said.
“It's incredible to be back in the peloton, but keeping in mind I've only had a handful of days racing in over a year's time now,” he added.
Friday's 157-kilometre third stage heads east from Corenc near Grenoble to the Alpine village of Saint-Martin-de-Belleville.