Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) had a heart-in-mouth moment on a winding descent on Stage 17 at the Giro d’Italia.
The Dutchman was being put under pressure by compatriot Gijs Leemreize (Jumbo-Visma) as the pair roared clear on the steep descent on Passo del Vetriolo.
As the road swung to the left, Van der Poel lost traction on his rear wheel, skidded and had to style out a tight corner – almost coming a cropper into the barriers.
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“Woah, woah, woah,” said Sean Kelly on Eurosport commentary as Van der Poel veered dangerously close to the roadside barrier.
Leemreize also misjudged the corner ahead of Van der Poel, perhaps explaining why the Stage 1 winner carried so much speed into the turn.
“Van der Poel styles that one out, but a rare mistake in the bike handling from him. He is human!” said Rob Hatch alongside Kelly.
Van der Poel eventually cracked on the final Cat. 1 climb after another brilliant day out front – branded a “fantasy cycling effort” by Hatch.
“It’s just a lost of traction in the back wheel,” added Robbie McEwen on his scary moment.
“He looked to have it well under control, just that back wheel let go and a little skid that put him off balance. A cyclo-crosser like Van der Poel, a skid like that? Just a blip on the radar.”

'One of the moments of the season' - Contador

Two-time Giro champion and Eurosport expert Alberto Contador lauded Van der Poel for his reactions after the stage.
"Van der Poel's reflex reaction today was that of a top cyclist," said Contador.
"Without a doubt it's one of the moments of the season because when you're in those situations it's not easy to react and he did it like nobody else.
"Few people can have that ability and he gave us some incredible moments. Even for these things Van der Poel is one of the best in the world."

‘Tears to glory!’ – Buitrago roars to Stage 17 as Carapaz clings to pink

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