Tour de France Dog


There's a reason why Tour de France organizers are encouraging onlookers to leave their dogs at home from now on.

With barely 2 1/2 miles to go in Stage 2 of the grueling bicycle race Sunday afternoon on the French Mediterranean isle of Corsica, a small white dog darted into the road behind a handful of cyclists who had broken away from the pack.

The whole thing was caught on video, of course...

In the footage, you can see the pooch trot all the way across the two-lane road, then scamper back toward the middle. 

A bystander ran into the road in an attempt to grab the pup, but then swiftly beat a retreat back toward his side of the road just as the rest of the peloton came zooming around the corner, followed by a caravan of team vehicles.

Happily, the dog sprinted safely to the other side, narrowly missing getting rammed into by the leader of the pack, and disaster was somehow avoided by all.

If there had been an accident, however, it wouldn't have been the first.

A runaway dog actually did cause a number of cyclists, including world-champion Belgian Philippe Gilbert, to crash last year during the Tour's 18th stage.

In 2007, German cyclist Marcus Burghardt ran into a dog during Stage 9 (he made no mention of Sunday's incident on his blog chronicling this year's Tour) and, in 2000, a horse joined the race without incident.

The second stage of the Tour de France is 96.9 miles long, starting in the Corsican city of Bastia and winding up in the capital, Ajaccio. Jan Bakelants of Belgium took the leader's yellow jacket at the end of the day. The 21-stage race lasts until July 21.

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