Cycling News

Drama at Rund um Köln after woman walks in front of race

Drama at Rund um Köln after woman walks in front of race

During the Rund um Köln race in Germany on Sunday, tension mounted as a pedestrian crossed the road just as the break sped through. Despite there presumably being several lead cars, as well as follow cars, the break almost plowed into a woman who was crossing the road on the course on a crosswalk.

With 115 km left before the finish of the 194.8km 1.1. race, she almost reached the other side of the road. But the eight-man leading group passed the crosswalk as she did so, which was just before the Agathaberg in Wipperfürth.

Six of the riders were able to give the woman—who was using a walker—a wide berth, but for Lotto Kern-Haus’ Mauro Brenner and Caja-Rural’s Michal Schlegel, it was not quite as easy. They used some cat-like reactions to narrowly miss the woman. The same could not be said for Team Storck – Metropol Cycling’s Ole Theiler.

The German cyclist collided with the woman’s walker using his back wheel, dislodging it from her grip and pulling it along the road. Miraculously, no one was hurt. Given the speed of the riders—most likely anywhere from 40-50 km/h, a direct hit would have been disastrous for both the woman and the rider.

The drama at Rund um Köln had no impact on the race’s outcome. Casper van Uden emerged victorious in the 106th Rhenish cycling classic. The Dutchman won the sprint ahead of pre-race favourite Biniam Girmay (Intermarché–Wanty.) and Louis Blouwe (Bingoal WB.).

Rund um Köln, translated as “Around Cologne,” is one of Germany’s oldest and most prestigious cycling races. Established in 1910, it has a rich history spanning over a century, with 58 editions of the event. Sunday also marked pro cyclist Israel – Premier Tech’s Rick Zabel’s last race. The race is special for the German, as his father, Erik, won it in 1996 and 2004.

Since IPT didn’t send a team, Zabel competed with the German national team, a fitting tribute to the rider on his home turf.

This isn’t the first time a pedestrian has walked across a race course. Julie Bego of France clinched victory in the 2023 junior women’s road race, though the race took a dangerous turn. Spectators were alarmed when Bego approached the finish line, coinciding with race marshals allowing spectators to cross the road.

During the 2017 Tirreno-Adriatico, a dog and its walker unknowingly crossed a pedestrian crossing, obstructing Peter Sagan’s path. Sagan skillfully avoided a collision by swiftly maneuvering around them. Despite the…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…