Cycling fans watching on TV might have enjoyed the opening stage of the Three Days of De Panne going up the Muur van Geraardsbergen, but one fan at the side of the road had to move quickly to avoid a nasty collision with a Katusha-Alpecin rider riding on the pavement.
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Marco Haller was leading the front group on the first slopes of the Muur when he took to the pavement as the race went through the main square of Geraardsbergen.
Haller rode up a gently sloping kerb to cut a corner and take advantage of the slightly smoother cobbles on the pavement, narrowly avoiding a fan who then had to be fleet-footed to avoid other riders in the group who had moved onto the pavement.
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The Austrian rider then continued to make use of the pavement further up the climb, even riding behind some other spectators who found themselves in the middle of the group.
According to UCI rules riders are not allowed to ride on pavement, with Greg Van Avermaet, Peter Sagan, and Sep Vanmarcke being criticised for riding on the pavement rather than the cobbles at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
Race organisers at the recent Le Samyn race put barriers in place to stop riders riding on the pavement, but there appear to have been no such measures taken at the Three Days of De Panne.