Horse Joins Cycle Race
Hold on to your handlebars, folks! We've got an incredible video to share that's been taking the internet by storm. In less than 24 hours, over eight million people have watched a jaw-dropping moment during a bike race where a horse sprinted through the peloton, leaving everyone in awe! Shared on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), the footage is from the 1997 Critérium International in France. It shows a sleek brown horse leaping over a fence, escaping its paddock, and dashing ahead of the fast-moving pack. This unexpected competitor took the lead, creating quite a safety concern for the riders, as the French commentary rightly points out.
Frédéric Moncassin, a sprinter who witnessed the scene firsthand, eloquently described the horse's dramatic impact, "When it jumped and landed on the road, it was impressive, the sound of the hooves, the sparks, the horse's breath." These breathtaking moments were even immortalized in the iconic French film Amélie, directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. While the horse's daring feat temporarily halted the race, Frenchman Stéphane Barthe still emerged as the victor. But this isn't the only time animals have made appearances in cycling races. In 2011, during the Critérium du Dauphiné, Mikel Landa collided with a wandering cow, resulting in a broken collarbone and his unfortunate departure from the race. And who could forget the mischievous pony in the 2017 Tour of Poland, playfully running alongside the peloton before being guided off the road by a quick-thinking cyclist? Even this year, a horse resembling the one from the 1997 Critérium International took center stage during the women's race at Strade Bianche. SD Worx's Demi Vollering had quite the surprise when the horse popped up in front of her, causing her to let out a loud shriek. Although the horse led the race for a short distance, it eventually slid off the road on a gravel bend. Thankfully, it survived the tumble with only a few days of antibiotics and a lot of fear. And the animal encounters continue! Just recently, a cow in San Carlos, Costa Rica decided to chase the peloton, creating another unforgettable moment in cycling history. How's that for unexpected excitement during a race? So, keep an eye out, cycling aficionados, because you never know when these wonderful and wild surprises will occur. From horses to cows to ponies, they add an extra dash of excitement and unpredictability to the world of cycling. Happy riding, and may your races always be filled with surprises and memorable moments!