Bizarre crash as Paris-Nice pro is flattened by falling billboard – drops out of race with ankle injury

Pro cycling is tough enough without having to dodge rogue billboards while rolling towards the start line.

Kevin Geniets (Groupama-FDJ) was the unlucky rider who overshot the mixed zone interview zone during the stage start in Nice when the sponsor’s skateboard caught a gust of wind and was sent overturning of the Luxembourg national champion.

Geniets fell heavily, sandwiched between the falling plank and the metal railings, and injured his ankle. Early reports suggested he was able to start the queen stage of the race, but it has since been confirmed by the 25-year-old’s team that he has dropped out of the race.

The fall was captured by Danish broadcaster TV 2 Sport, while cycling journalist Daniel Friebe was on the scene to witness the incident.

“The wind blew on a board of sponsors at the start of Paris-Nice and it fell on Kevin Geniets of Groupama-FDJ, injuring his ankle. I don’t know at the moment if he will leave”, tweeted the ITV broadcaster.

Before quickly updating: “Geniets arrived on the start line… a minute or two after the start of the peloton. But he is still in the race.”

“It happened as he was about to register and he was on medication for about ten minutes. Registration had closed by the time he got up,” Friebe explained.

Shortly after, Groupama-FDJ confirmed that its rider had given up after “a few kilometers”.

Geniets then took to social media to share his understandably frustrated take on the morning’s events…

> Rider backs off in freak Giro d’Italia crash as helicopter blows up road barriers

On the road, three of Geniets’ teammates – David Gaudu, Olivier Le Gac and Quentin Pacher – were spotted in the breakaway as the race heads towards a summit finish at the Col de Turini.

The peloton expected freezing temperatures and snow, not coasting billboards, to be the biggest danger on Stage 7. Even the race leader and, well known to the point of cliche , former ski jumper Primož Roglič said he hoped the snow would stay. a way.

“Of course I like the snow, but not when I cycle. I do other things on the snow, now I prefer the sun and the heat when I cycle,” the Slovenian told the journalists.

“Nobody really likes riding a bike in the snow… The climb has to be manageable. It will be super cold, super hard, but it’s the queen stage, a finish at the top of the mountain, so I hope that I’ll have the legs.”

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