Some pretty alarming footage has emerged of fans appearing to be wielding chainsaws running next to Ineos star Egan Bernal during Stage 16 of the Giro d'Italia.
Bernal cemented his status as pink jersey elect with a splendid solo victory in Cortina d’Ampezzo after an inspired attack on the Passo Giau – not that fans were able to see it.
Owing to the bad weather in the Dolomites, much of Monday’s shortened stage played out rather mysteriously behind closed doors.
Evenepoel: I need to improve to challenge Pogacar, Roglic, Bernal
But on Tuesday morning, a shocking clip began to circulate on social media of two fans appearing to be wielding chainsaws running alongside the Ineos star as he embarked on one of the many tricky climbs.
Cycling fans are very used to seeing wacky and bizarre scenes during races with security unable to keep tabs on every inch of the stage routes - but the apparent sight of chainsaws was certainly shocking.
Thankfully the two individuals clutching their high-powered accessories did not make any contact with Bernal but the footage made it clear that their presence was much too close for comfort.
- ‘Demoted’ Bernal’s Giro dominance could cause Ineos problems – Wiggins
- Brailsford praises Bernal for 'pretty ballsy' attack
- Opinion: Shortening stage did little to dampen the spectacle – not that we could see it
Watch unseen footage from Bernal's remarkable attack on Stage 16
Heavy rain, freezing temperatures and dense fog meant the live television images from the host broadcaster struggled to capture the images as the 24-year-old star put in his decisive attack.
Bernal will be enjoying Tuesday's second rest day with a hefty lead banked over all his rivals with two more summit finishes – and the final 30km time trial into Milan – still to ride.
Eurosport's Bradley Wiggins said on his latest podcast that he “fears for the rest of the race” after this latest demonstration of dominance from Bernal - and that his excellence could pose problems for Ineos ahead of the Tour de France.
"I can’t see anything that anyone can do that will dislodge Bernal," Wiggins said on the podcast.
"Even when he is isolated and short of team-mates he will just attack and no one can ride with him. I fear for the rest of the race.
I think they have this sewn up now – they have ridden flawlessly and Bernal has proven that he is the strongest rider. I can’t really see anyone challenging them. This is what they do well.
Bernal ‘has sewn up the Giro today’ – Wiggins
Wednesday’s 193km Stage 17 features three categorised climbs including the new mountain-top finish at Sega di Ala.
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