Riders hit by 'icy ping pong balls' as hailstorm descends on cycling's Critérium du Dauphiné

    Cyclist Tim Declercq was pelted with hail during the Critérium du Dauphiné

    (CNN)The second stage of cycling's Critérium du Dauphiné ended in chaos as riders were pelted by large hailstones.

    Competitors were caught in the bad weather a few kilometers from the race finish at the top of the Col de Porte in the south-west of France.
    "Many riders -- including our boys -- were hit by one hell of a hailstorm," said a tweet from Israel Start-Up Nation (ISN).
      "The scene was total chaos and mayhem ... riders running for cover, hit hard by icy mini ping pong balls."
      Belgian cyclist Tim Declercq was left with large red welts on his back from the hail, which descended shortly after the race leaders had finished.
      "As if Le Dauphiné was not painfull (sic) enough for the legs #hailstones," Declercq wrote on Instagram.
      He later posted a photo showing how the redness had started to subside.
      Another rider, B&B Hotels-Vital Concept's Maxime Chevalier, also had red marks across his back.