Bunny hop saves Axel Zingle from collision with Mads Pedersen

As Mark Cavendish of Astana-Qazaqstan charged towards his record-equalling 35th Tour de France stage win, chaos unfolded behind him. Mads Pedersen from Lidl-Trek suddenly hit the deck, leaving Axel Zingle of Cofidis with a split-second decision as he approached the finish line in Saint Vulbas.

“It happened very quickly. I had finished my job for Bryan, I had moved aside,” said Zingle in a team media statement. “For me, the race was already over even though I was still going at 60 km/h. I didn’t expect to have a fall in front of me.”

Pedersen collided with the barrier and sprawled flat on the road, directly in Zingle’s path. Zingle, unable to brake in time, performed a well-executed bunny hop to avoid crashing into Pedersen.

“I was coming too fast to brake, and I didn’t want to fall. I had my hands in a snug fit, I was ready so I tried and it went through,” said Zingle. “I felt that I had touched him, I hope I didn’t hurt him. But he has strong skin, I hope he’ll be in good shape tomorrow!”

The Lidl-Trek team later confirmed that Pedersen suffered heavy impacts to his left shoulder and back. Initial x-rays revealed no fractures.

“He will continue to be monitored overnight and a final decision on whether he can start Stage 6 will be taken tomorrow morning,” stated the team.

Stage 6 promises another opportunity for sprinters, featuring a relatively flat 163.5km route from Mâcon to Dijon, ending with an 800-metre straight into the prefecture of the Côte-d’Or.

Main photo credit: ASO – Thomas Maheux

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