Riders and fans battered by hailstorm at Critérium du Dauphiné

A hailstorm sent riders and fans seeking cover atop the Col du Porte after Thursday's stage 2 of the Critérium du Dauphiné.

An enormous hailstorm battered the finish line at Thursday’s stage 2 of the Critérium du Dauphiné, pelting riders, fans, and race officials with large hailstones.

The hailstorm followed a day of rainfall atop the Col du Porte, and it rolled in just as the final finishers of the stage were crossing the line, and as organizers were completing the podium ceremony.

VeloNews reporter James Startt said the storm swept up the mountain just as Daniel Oss of Bora-Hansgrohe was climbing the final slopes of the mountain. Oss finished in 95th place, 21:20 down on winner Primož Roglič.

“You could see the rain chasing him to the line, and at that point, it became every man for himself,” Startt said. “I found refuge in a TV van, and the hail was so strong that it was forcing its way in through a small opening in the back doors. When I went outside after it stopped, everything was white, all white.”

Photo: Tim DeClercq

Videos and photos from the storm-filled social media in the hours after the stage finished, showing fans and riders cowering from the weather. Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma) took shelter under a tree alongside fans who carried a Jumbo-Visma inflatable. Other riders descended to their respective team busses in the hail.

Photos from Deceuninck-Quick Step rider Tim Declercq showed his back covered in red welts from the hailstones. Maxime Chevalier of B&B Hotels-Vital Concept showed similar pelts on his back in an image posted on the team’s social account.

“You could see from the faces of guys that it was a pretty harrowing experience,” Startt said. “Dan Martin looked pretty destroyed, and the last finisher, Jerome Cossins, who was in the breakaway all day, looked totally shattered.”