ADELAIDE, Australia — Bloodied and bruised, American cyclist Tyler Farrar borrowed a bike and shoes from a fan to complete Wednesday's third stage of the Tour Down Under, the first event of the 2016 WorldTour.
Farrar was one of five riders involved in a high-speed crash as the peloton made a sharp turn toward the Corkscrew climb, about 10 kilometers (six miles) from the finish of the 139-kilometer stage from Glenelg to Campbelltown on the outskirts of Adelaide.
Farrar, who rides for South Africa-based Team Dimension Data, suffered bruises and abrasions and was left stranded without assistance from his team's support car and the race's neutral support vehicle, which had passed by.
New Zealander Anthony Tooman, standing nearby, offered Farrar a wheel from his bike but Farrar said a wheel wasn't going to be enough. He needed the whole bike and Tooman's shoes which were compatible with the pedals.
"We could see him on the side of the road and asked 'do you need a wheel?' and he said 'Na, a wheel is not going to cut it'," Tooman told The Advertiser newspaper. "Then it went to 'well, what pedals are you running?'
"He was on Speedplay and I was on Shiman, and as soon as that was decided it was just 'well you might as well just take everything'.
"Then the next question was 'what size shoe are you? He was a size 43 and I'm a 44, so we swapped shoes, he jumped on my bike, we gave him some water and 'seeya later'."
Farrar crossed the finish line at Campbelltown in the Adelaide Hills 13 minutes, 7 seconds behind the stage winner, Simon Gerrans of Australia.
In normal circumstances, he might have been disqualified from the tour for accepting outside assistance. But the race officials ruled that as the circumstances were extraordinary, and Farrar was not in contention to win the stage or the overall race, he would be allowed to continue.