Gilbert, who wore the yellow jersey for race leader last year, was among several riders brought down in a spill at the 120km mark of the 226km race from Blagnac to Brive-la-Gaillarde yesterday.

A family watching the race go past saw their huge dog, which some riders later compared to “a pony”, run out into the road. It brought several riders down and left BMC’s Gilbert with a sore shoulder.

He hopes his Olympic road race for July 28 will not suffer. “I hurt my elbow and hip but it’s my shoulder that’s sore. Plus we have a 400km transfer by bus tonight — not ideal for recovery,” said Gilbert.