As if he didn’t have enough to worry about with attacks from Alaphilippe and VDP, now the current Vuelta a Espana champion finds himself in the crosshairs of Australia’s most annoying bird: The Magpie.

Wollongong, where this week’s Worlds is being held, seems to be a hotspot for magpie attacks between July and November, and this week alone a few riders have been swooped upon. After a quick Google it seems there is no single apparent reason for the attacks, though it might be simply to make me laugh.

Evenepoel on the other hand, the little softie, says he’s scared:

“A fairly large bird came very close and it just kept following me. It was terrifying. But that’s Australia, apparently. I hope it’s the only time it happens, but I am afraid of it.”

That’s Australia, apparently.

Love that line.

Unconfirmed reports say that the magpie in question was wearing a tricolour jersey and a beret at the time of the attack…

He’s lucky, really, that the Worlds weren’t held in Oz 47,000 years ago, or he may have had a Genyornis (aka ThunderBird) chasing his backside down an ancient Wollongong avenue. This terrifying looking bit of fauna was huge, as you can see – and this is the ‘small’ one.

That’s Australia, apparently!


This legend (apparently everyone in Oz is a ‘legend’, or maybe I’ve been watching too much Aussieman), filmed repeated attacks by a magpie… In truth it does not look like much fun!

Author: Lee Rodgers

Cycling coach, race organiser, former professional cyclist and the original CrankPunk.

2 thoughts

  1. Nasty buggers when they want to be, very intelligent and are said to talk to each other.
    My wife kept birds in a cage on the verandah and the local maggies used to draw blood when I passed their tree.
    Sure they gave me some extra attention for locking up there brethren.

    1. Thanks for the comment Matt, yeah I heard also they have magpie funerals for their pals? Super smart indeed, we have them here in Taiwan but no swooping, thankfully!

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