In what may be the first case of diving in cycling, a CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider has apologised after video footage showed him pretending to have been involved in a crash at the Tour of Norway.
Pawel Bernas was one of a number of riders found on the ground after a crash with 2.2km to go on the opening stage of the Tour of Norway on Wednesday, but the Polish rider was the only rider to be sitting on the tarmac through his own choice.
Footage of the incident shows a number of riders hitting the deck as the peloton swings round a right-hand bend, but the vast majority are able to avoid the crash and weave around a traffic island to get going again.
However Bernas, who had been on the attack a few kilometres earlier, chose a different course of action, calmly climbing off his bike, placing it down, and sitting on the ground to make it appear that he too had been involved in the crash.
Unfortunately for Bernas the whole incident was captured on television and shared widely on social media, with the Pole apologising for his actions ahead of Thursday’s second stage, explaining that he was aiming to be given the same time as the main bunch as the “crash” occurred in the final three kilometres.
“I’m sorry for what happened. It looked quite ridiculous,” the 27-year-old told Procycling.no. “It was right after I had done a job in the final, my head was not clear.
“I did not want to take any chances of jumping over the pavements or stuff like that. So I just wanted to be safe. I decided to put the bike down, so it seemed as if I was in the crash.
“My heart rate was at 190 bpm but that’s no excuse. I’m sorry for what happened. It looked absolutely ridiculous. I panicked because of the rules and was afraid to lose time.”