Andrea Guardini's participation in the Paris-Roubaix took an unusual turn on Sunday, as he was stopped by police for riding on a motorway after pulling out of the one-day race.
Guardini abandoned the event with 68km remaining, but was advised to ride to the finish by his UAE Team Emirates squad.
However, the Italian duly found himself on the E23 motorway, resulting in police intervention.
Making light of the incident in a post on his public fan club page on Facebook, Guardini wrote: "Some pictures, videos and links are going around now so it is better for me to tell you how it went.
"I pulled out [of the race] and when I reached the team car at the second drink stop they told me to 'take a shortcut and meet them at the finish line'…I stuck to their words…I would have got there 40 minutes earlier than the others if I hadn't found myself on a motorway!
"Luckily the Gendarmerie [French police] caught me, and took me to their barracks. I have to thank them a lot, from my heart, they even let me watch the end of the race…they were very gentle!
"From there I could call my wife who got in contact with my team that in turn came to pick me up. They keep pulling my legs, I don't know how long will I have to pay for this…but just know I wasn't arrested! My criminal record is clear, we all laughed out loud and I can now say I have an original story to tell about my career."
Guardini handed over his race jersey to the police to express his gratitude.