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Video: Cyclists in South Africa embark on the training ride of all time—thanks to an ostrich

In the cycling world, encounters between riders and animals aren't uncommon. But this is something else.

(Source: Oleksiy Mishchenko/ViralHog.com)

In the cycling world, encounters between riders and animals aren’t uncommon. At last year’s Tour de France, Warren Barguil of Giant-Alpecin was one of several cyclists who threaded through the unanticipated obstacle of a herd of cows. Horses, too, have proven themselves avid followers of the pro peloton—literally, like at the Tour de Suisse or the 1997 Critérium International.

What a group of riders recently experienced on the roads of South Africa, though, is something else entirely, and it amounted to the training ride of all time.

Oleksiy Mishchenko was one of several riders in-country for the Cape Town Cycle Tour, and on Friday, March 5, he and his fellow cyclists went on a 130km pre-competition ride to the Cape of Good Hope. The scene was quiet, the oceanside road the group was taking somewhat deserted.

That, however, wouldn’t be the case for long.

“Suddenly, I spotted a white ostrich on my left, then this beast jumped on the road from the right and started chasing my friends,” Mischchenko wrote in a YouTube description of the incident that ensued. Calling it scary at first, the sight of the charging ostrich bearing down on the riders ahead of him, Mischchenko described, almost caused him to fall off his bike with laughter. “The ostrich didn’t have any problem to keep up at 50 km/h and apparently they do 70 km/h with no sweat,” he wrote.

“Luckily the creature decided to leave us alone, as we were running out of road.”

Watch the group’s hilarious, terrifying, leg-stretching sprint as it happened. A good chase can shake things up on race day, but this is ridiculous.