Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) found herself in the grip of a seemingly never ending handshake as she pulled on her fourth maglia rosa of the Giro on Monday.
The Polish rider finished the 100 kilometre stage 20 seconds up on second placed Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, but the podium celebration represented a second challenge of endurance.
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Receiving her pink jersey at the end of the stage, one of two organisers went on to shake her hand as expected, before continuing to extend the formality for a little longer than is usually polite.
With Tuesday’s queen stage still to come (albeit minus the Gavia) the Canyon-SRAM team leader will have wanted to save her strength for the task ahead.
However, a video of the incident shows her struggling to release from the grip for long enough to collect her flowers and champagne, even looking down at the connected hands in surprise as the pink Astoria is presented, and then taken away when the situation is registered by a somewhat more perceptive hostess.
When it becomes clear that Niewiadoma needs her hands back to zip up the maglia rosa, the same official steps in to help her – before once again extending a hand to the perhaps reticent rider.
The long lasting gesture made its way on to Twitter, where it collected a host of replies.
Former rider, Eurosport production editor and the UCI’s women’s social media coordinator Jeanine Laudy commented: “Her looking at that champagne bottle and signalling ‘I’ve got no hands free to take it’.”
Andy Gerrie timed in that he was “worried Kasia might need a sidecar for him on tomorrow’s stage for a while there,” whilst both Olympic champion Elinor Barker and former Giro winner Anna van der Breggen commented with laughing emojis.
Van der Breggen won the race in 2015 and 2017, and currently sits in 10th, at 1-04 – so may well be preparing herself for her own death grip avoidance tactics in the days to come.