Parasol finds its way into the middle of the bunch as they ride from Vesoul to Troyes – amazingly, all riders avoid it

A large parasol nearly caused mayhem during stage six of the 2017 Tour de France on Thursday, as it was blown across the road and straight into the middle of the peloton.

The loose parasol managed to find its way onto the road just outside 90km to go on the 216km stage from Vesoul to Troyes, surprising the Katusha and Team Sky riders at the front.

Riders were forced to swerve around the moving object, and remarkably it appeared that no riders were brought down. It helped that the bunch were moving at a steady pace – around 40.5kmh – rather than full tilt.

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It is likely that the parasol came from a roadside spectator, many of whom set up tables and chairs as they wait for the arrival of the peloton.

The three escapees ahead of the bunch would have been oblivious to the incident, as they forged their way in sunny and hot conditions. Perrig Quéméneur (Direct Energie), Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates) and Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) were around two minutes ahead at the time.

A full stage six report will be published on www.cyclingweekly.com immediately after the stage finish.