A Kiwi cycling fan standing on the side of the road came to the rescue of American professional Tyler Farrar by giving him his bike and shoes so he could finish Stage 3 of the Tour Down Under.
Anthony Tooman, 42, was on Gorge Rd near Cudlee Creek in South Australia watching the peloton fly past at speeds nudging 100km/h when Farrar was involved in a crash.
Farrar was bloodied, bruised and stranded without a team support car or the race's neutral service vehicle which had already passed through when Tooman asked if the sprinter needed to borrow a wheel.
Farrar - who rides for the first African WorldTour team Dimension Data - needed the whole bike as well as Tooman's shoes which were compatible with the clip-in pedals.
"We could see him [Farrar] 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 last night told The Advertiser.
"Then it went to 'well, what pedals are you running?'
Legend. @pushiefiend helped out Tyler Farrar by lending him his bike and shoes to finish the @tourdownunder stage today. After a crash with about 20km to go Tyler's bike seemed okay, so our own team car moved to the front to help the guys further up the road. With 15km to go Tyler's derailleur broke and there was no neutral support to help him out with a bike. And this is where the story took an unexpected turn. Thanks, Anthony!
"He was on Speedplay and I was on Shimano, 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 in Campbelltown 13mins 7secs behind stage winner Simon Gerrans and under normal race rules which ban such outside assistance, would have been disqualified from the tour.
But the chief commissaire considered it an exceptional circumstance and took into account that Farrar was not in contention to win the stage or the overall race and will allow him to start Stage 4 in Norwood today.
The incident rekindled memories of the 2002 TDU when Michael Rogers was involved in a crash with a motorbike and used a spectator's bike to not only finish the stage but win the overall tour.
Tooman travelled to Adelaide from Hamilton, New Zealand, for his second visit to the TDU.
He considers himself a recreational cyclist and the bike he gave Farrar yesterday was a De Rosa Protos with an estimated value of AU$6000 (NZ$6400).
"I ride a [size] 52, he rides a 54 in an aggressive position and my gearing would have been the same as him, it wouldn't have been worlds apart," Tooman said.
The Kiwi - along with Farrar's banged-up bike, was taken to the finish by the sag wagon which is the last race car on the road.
Farrar thanked Tooman for saving his race and insisted the team find a jersey and knicks for him to have.
"He [Farrar] said to make sure we catch up at the finish," Tooman said.
"I was surprised at how calm he was and then he was pretty open-minded to any solution, he wasn't fazed at all, it was not a big deal.
"I think if anything, he's a very approachable, humble guy and the whole team are I'd say."