A dog had a lucky escape during stage three of the Giro d’Italia 2020 when it ran in front of the peloton on the road to Mount Etna.
The bunch has been enjoying a relatively sedate day early in the race as an eight-rider breakaway set the pace out front, with the huge climb looming in the distance.
But with just under 40km left of the stage to race, disaster almost struck the peloton as a dog wandered out in the road, forcing riders to take evasive action to avoid a fall.
Fortunately riders were heading uphill at the time so the pace was low, and the bunch was able to part to either side of the road and the pass around the dog, with the animal safely walking out the other side unharmed.
There have been plenty of cases of dogs interrupting bike races, sometimes with catastrophic results.
In December last year, a dog wandered onto the course of the Druivencross cyclocross race in Belgium and decided to start chasing riders as they crossed the finish line.
Stage three of the Giro is an early mountain test for the riders, finishing atop the iconic Mount Etna on Sicily.
Peter Sagan almost suffered a big crash during the 2017 Tirreno-Adriatico when a dog walker strolled into his path during the time trial stage.
Luckily the Slovak took evasive action and avoided a fall thanks to his legendary bike-handling skills.
The 150km stage runs from Enna in the centre of the island to the summit of the volcano.
Ineos Grenadiers rider Filippo Ganna led the race heading into the stage after his outstanding performance in the opening stage TT.
Geraint Thomas, team leader at Ineos, had a rough day however as he crashed in the neutral zone and then looked to be struggling late into the stage.
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