Rider claims tenth place after running across finish line: “It was the longest 75 m of my life!”
US amateur racer Eamon Lucas racing for Belgian team ‘Shifting Gears-Geldhof Jielker’ came in 10th place on Friday in the 2019 the edition of Gullegem Kermesse, west of the well known towns of Kuurne and Harelbeke, Belgium.
But this breakthrough result for Lucas wasn’t as straight as forward most races tend to go. You see, he ran across the finish line.
Lucas told CyclingTips after finishing the 105km kermesse in 10th place, “In the last lap it was altogether. The final corner was around 800m from the line. The road was straight but there was a bit of a chicane with 300m or so to go. You didn’t want to be caught out too far back with then only 150m to go.
“I went through a gap of riders because there was no one taking initiative in the sprint. Everyone is watching everyone. Around 50m or so before the chicane I was third wheel. Before I knew it my bike was out from underneath me my left leg was on clipped and trying to hold myself up but there was no coming back.
“I was on the ground and sliding on my back thinking to myself, ‘This is not where you want to be!’ I watch the breakaway passed me as I came to a stop. I stood up immediately and tried to get back on my bike because I knew I still have 30 or so seconds gap to the chasing peloton. My only thought was ‘I can still get a result I can still place!’ Jump on my bike but my derailleur and chain we’re a mess. No time to fix it so I handed my bike to a spectator and started to run as fast as I possibly could. Rounding the last sweeping band I saw the finish line. It was the longest 75 m of my life. My legs are on fire from the lactic acid and at that point time I wanted to cross the finish line so bad for the resort it wasn’t even funny.”
— Eamon Lucas (@Eamon_Lucas) June 8, 2019
“I don’t have any significant injuries actually very very little road rash. The bike is fine and today I’m racing again. The form is good and the mind is focused, and you can bet I’ll be Hunting for that finish line once again.”
The Gullegem Kermesse is classified as a 1.12B, which is a standard non-pro race. UCI rules normally stipulate that a rider needs to cross the finish line with his or her bike, however the organisers allowed Lucas’ 10th place result to stand.
Earlier in the week Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) won the 75th pro edition of Gullegem Koerse on Tuesday. In the last five kilometers of the 171-kilometer kermesse, the Belgian national champion only attacked and held it to the end, bike and all.
On Saturday Eamon Lucas won in Oudenburg, Belgium and crossed the line with his bike intact, but still in style: