Nic Dougall: El Salvador of St Hilari!

Nic Dougall may delight in ripping the legs of the peloton to ragged sinew and flesh but, once the dossard has been cast asunder, is not a man to pass the opportunity up to pet a cute, fluffy four-legged friend. Especially if that cute, fluffy four-legged friend is in mortal danger on the flanks of a Catalunyan mountainside! And so it was that Nic ‘El Salvador’ Dougall came to the rescue of Bunny Dougall whilst out with the usual motley crew of Gironisti pedaleurs whilst training…


“They were riding up the St Hilari climb and they saw a fluffy thing on the side of the road. They pedaled on by for a few meters and then Nic was like “Nah – I’m gonna go see what that was…” So he rides back down the road, goes over and just picks it up! It was a rabbit – it was fine, but obviously not a wild rabbit.


He put it in his jersey (wrapped in Lotto NL Jumbo’s Alexey Vermeulen’s jersey) and rode to the top of the climb. Whence (sic, Brooke Gillot) he got to the top he was going to palm it off to somebody but was, by that time, already in love with it… So, he buys a backpack and rides 45km back to Girona with the bunny on his back!”


Hero status is thusly truly conferred, but let us not forget the capricious whims of the hands of fate in the life of both of our protagonists: It was only a few short days ago that El Salvador was forced to relinquish his place, mid-race, on Team Dimension Data’s ill-fated Vuelta squad. A cruel blow after so much sacrifice and training for this Grand Tour appointment and the organisers soon saw viewing figures plummet.


But all these things happen for a reason – and nobody knows this more so than our cuddly, floppy gaited new friend! One can only shudder at the thought of what may have become of him if Nic was still locked in combat at La Vuelta and it was left to Ride-Captain Chris Williams to decide poor Bunnie’s fate…


Pics & the inside line courtesy of Brooke Gillott, stolen from Team Novo Nordisk’s Chris Williams (who is a thoroughly nice chap in reality and would never leave a bunny in peril)