Dutchman Theo Bos crashed and abandoned in stage two, but left the Abu Dhabi Tour and the United Arab Emirates overnight with a smile on his face thanks to a local's help.
Bos fell with Tom Boonen (Etixx-Quick Step) and MTN-Qhubeka team-mate Songezo Jim around 60km into stage two. He abandoned with a large cut on his elbow, which doctors at the hospital were unable to stitch due to the type of injury.
Unable to find his team, Bos took a taxi from the hospital to return to the Crowne Plaza Hotel where the teams are staying.
"I was there for him, but when I went him to find him, they sent me to see a psychiatrist," sports director, Jens Zemke told Cycling Weekly. "I said I was looking for a 'cyclist' who crashed in the race, but they heard 'psychiatrist!'"
Bos, the former 200-metre track record holder, had the taxi driver stop at a pharmacy so that he could buy some medicine. When he went to pay, though, he realised he lacked money.
A local woman waiting in line, asked what happened and insisted on paying the £25 bill when she heard 32-year-old Bos had crashed at high-speed earlier in the day. He said ‘no’ a few times, but she paid regardless.
She didn't stop there. When Bos went to get into the waiting taxi, she insisted that she take him to the hotel. Again he said ‘no,’ but again she insisted. Bos sat in the back of a luxury Range Rover with blacked-out windows, the local in front with her driver at the wheel.
"She asked me if I had called my mum to tell her what happened," Bos said. "I told her ‘no,’ and she gave me her mobile phone and insisted I called, and I did!"
Before arriving back with his team at the hotel, she asked if Bos was hungry. She told the driver to stop and bought food for Bos.
"He flew back immediately," added Zemke. "For sure, he had a good laugh and appreciated the kindness of the local lady."
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