In the words of U.S. cyclist Alex Howes, who tweeted about the crash late Friday, “How do you not become dead?!?!”
That’s an excellent question, because according to NBC Sports’ announcers, the 24-year-old Etixx-Quick Step rider crashed into the cliffside while riding 52 kilometers per hour (more than 32 mph).
“The wind caught me — I did not expect to take a gust like that,” Alaphilippe told France’s LeDauphine.com after the race. “It took me to the outside of the turn and I went straight into the rocks.”
Amazingly, Alaphilippe wasn’t seriously hurt. He suffered a cut on his thumb and just bruises on his shoulder and back.
Alaphilippe finished 106th overall on Friday, likely slower than he would’ve liked, but hey, he’s alive. He began Saturday’s Stage 14 sitting in 54th place overall out of 187 riders.