Cycling: the misadventure of Mollema, attacked by a seagull at the World Cup

A really bad day that of Bauke Mollema in Wollongong. During the mixed time trial of the Australian World Championship, the Dutch rider was the victim of two very unfortunate accidents. A more usual one, the chain jump, which happened at a crucial moment of the test: the two teammates Van der Poel and Hoole could not help but go straight and leave him struggling with his mechanical problem. And then, while by now he was pedaling without hassle towards the finish line, the 35-year-old from Groningen, career winner of a Lombardia, was the victim of a singular attack by a seagull. That’s right: the bird targeted Mollema and especially his uniform. In fact, on the left arm of the Dutch team a small fish is drawn, the logo of the national lottery which sponsors the orange. Mollema managed to stay on his feet and not fall. Just on the eve of the rehearsal, Mollema was again attacked by a magpie, exactly as in the days before Remco Evenepoel and Grace Brown. “Quite a terrifying scene” said the Belgian winner of the Vuelta. Local experts, heard by the VeloNews site, speak of “frequent attacks in that area” between August and October. The World Cup happens right in the middle of this “delicate” period.

The Dutchman’s performance was further compromised a few minutes later by the dramatic fall of Annemiek Van Vleuten, who broke her right elbow after a bad slip at the start due to a gearbox problem.

World cycling championship, Tahiti and Samoa at the start of the mixed time trial. Medal blue

by Cosimo Cito

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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