The first stage of the Tour de France was delayed in Brussels yesterday, after one of the riders injured his testicles on the narrow strip of leather that passes for the saddle on his bike.
Thierry Ballax, who rides for the Painful-Castrata team, got onto the bike gingerly at the startline of the time trial which, oddly enough, was in Belgium.
As he put his feet onto the pedals, and shifted his weight from his feet to his undercarriage, there was an ear-splitting rip, as if someone had torn a newspaper in half. Then, silence. Two seconds elapsed. This was followed by a blood-curdling scream. Other riders fell from their bikes in sympathy. Spectators fainted, and one woman who had come to watch dressed as a cyclist lowered the zip in her top so that people could almost get a glimpse of her breasts.
Paramedics were called, and a seamstress who was amongst the spectators helped out with 'the necessaries'.
The race eventually got under way, with many cyclists travelling quickly over the ground on their bikes to the finish line somewhere distant, and one of them won.