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'It's terrifying': The magpie suddenly targeted Remco Evenepoel, and could do so again during the World Cup trial period |  cycling world championship

‘It’s terrifying’: The magpie suddenly targeted Remco Evenepoel, and could do so again during the World Cup trial period | cycling world championship

“If I feel fresh on Sunday and no longer get attacked by birds, a lot can be done.”

The journalists present were shocked during Remco Evenepoel Press Conference on me. birds? The final winner of the Vuelta and one of the nominees for gold provided an explanation. “In training, a relatively large bird came very close and kept following me. This seems to happen quite often in Australia. I find it terrifying.”

Wollongong, located on the east coast of Australia, is home to a large number of magpies. Spring arrives, which is also known as the start of the “diving season”. In other words: birds that attack the unsuspecting, passers-by move from the air. Most of them are cyclists because the high speed releases magpies. They often target the head, sometimes returning to bump into it multiple times. It is no coincidence that there is a hotline for “magpie attacks” in Wollongong. Even with the wounded. Not so much due to the direct impact of the collision – the helmet prevents that. This is because some people lose control of the steering wheel as a result of collisions and falls. In 2019, a man was killed when he was attacked by a magpie, and he fell hard and was seriously injured.

Fortunately, that sad case was an exception. The birds may be quiet on Sunday. But there is a real chance that the rider will get upset for a while and lose focus for a while. Harmless at speeds exceeding 50 kilometers per hour. And this is not unimportant, when every second – even tenths of a second – counts in the battle for the Medal of Honor.

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Evenepoel wasn’t the only one to suffer from this. “One of our boys was attacked by a magpie,” said Stefan Kong, a medal contender. (laughs) Some of my Swiss colleagues suggested installing antennas on our helmets to scare them away. But yeah… that’s not good for our aerodynamics.”

Watch also. Evenepoel comes at the beginning of time trial with ambitions