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- Cyclocross riders in the men’s elite race on December 15 at Vlaamse Druivencross in Overisje, Belgium, were at the end of the first lap.
- Still wearing its leash, the dog appeared to have escaped from its owner. It was eventually caught and did not harm any of the cyclists.
With its many obstacles and notoriously muddy terrain, cyclocross is exciting enough on its own. The classic Vlaamse Druivencross race in Overisje, Belgium, on December 15, however, witnessed some additional chaos when a dog suddenly appeared on the course and began chasing after riders.
Wearing a leash and having apparently escaped from its owner, the dog—blissfully unaware of its intrusion—took after the cyclocross racers toward the end of the first lap of the race.
It was all caught on camera, too. Riders Mathieu van der Poel and Eli Iserbyt, near the front of the race, were able to pass and outpace the dog unscathed.
The group of cyclists behind Van der Poel and Iserbyt found themselves having to dodge the dog, as it weaved across the course, along with the several bystanders and course marshals who ran over to try to catch it. Belgian cyclist Michael Vanthourenhout was especially hounded by the dog as he tried to pass it, which caused him to briefly come to a stop.
Cyclists getting chased by dogs is nothing new (unfortunately), though it’s certainly less common in races. Luckily, this dog wasn’t particularly aggressive, and none of the riders were injured. The dog was eventually caught, but it’s still unclear who the owner was.
The canine interference certainly didn’t deter Van der Poel much, and he went on to win the race. He’s currently ranked for the UCI men’s elite cyclocross 2020 season.
British cyclist Tom Pidcock , and Belgian cyclist Quinten Hermans finished third.