The Tour of Spain along with the more famous Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia are the top three long distance bicycle races in Europe. Stinging insects can be a problem for bicyclists and this year’s (2013) Tour of Spain
was no exception. On a training ride on the day before the September 4 time trial, Italian Vincenzo Nibali was stung in the “tail” by an insect. The sting was not detrimental to his performance as he went on to win the time trial and take the lead in the race. American Chris Horner, who went on to win the race last Sunday (September 15, 2013) did not fare as well. The leader going into the time trial, Horner had just begun his ride when a bee flew into his mouth. What to do? Horner describes his technique:
“It was disturbing and scary. I couldn’t get it out. I also tried to swallow it. Eventually, I coughed it up.”
Horner lost 90 seconds to Nibali during the time trial and dropped to fourth. In the end, both riders overcame their stings with Horner finishing first, 37 seconds ahead of Nibali.
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