An American cyclist managed to hang on for a top 10 finish in a Belgian race despite having to sprint for the line on foot after crashing in the finishing straight.
Eamon Lucas was riding for his Belgian Shifting Gears-Geldhof Jielker team at the one-day race Gullegem Kermesse, situated west of the Belgian towns of Kuurne and Harelbeke. As he was coming into the finish, the 26-year-old crashed in the finishing straight.
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Instead of giving up, Lucas left his broken bike behind and sprinted for the line, managing to secure a top 10 finish.
Speaking to Cycling Weekly, Lucas said: “Coming into the finish I had a rider to my left come into my sprint lane in the last 200 or 300 meters of the race. I saw him move over on me and before I knew it I was on the ground sliding on my back.
“As soon as I stopped sliding I tried to get back on my bike but my chain and gears were in a mess. There was no time to fix it because the bunch were coming.
“I handed my bike to a spectator and ran as fast as I could for the finish line with everything I had in my body.”
Gullegem Kermesse is classified as a 1.12B category race, the category of many amateur races. This means that UCI rules don’t apply, and so riders don’t have to cross the finish line with their bike, which the UCI’s rules stipulate.
Therefore, after crossing the line in 10th place, race organisers allowed his result to stand.
“I ended up crossing the finish line in 10th,” Lucas said. “If it were a UCI race it would not have counted because you need a bike to cross the line with you. But yesterday was not a UCI race so the officials gave me the result.”
Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) won Gullegem Koerse, another Belgian one-day race, earlier in the week.
The scenes of Lucas running for the line brings back memories of Chris Froome (Ineos) running up Mont Ventoux on stage 12 of the 2016 Tour de France, after a moto broke suddenly and took down the Brit as well as Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo).
With his team car stuck further back, unable to get a replacement bike to him, Froome started running up the mountain. Eventually the Brit got a new bike and finished two minutes down on his rivals, with the commissaires then taking the decision to give him the same time as Porte and Mollema.