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Tour de France cyclist stung inside the mouth

Spain's three-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador eats an energizing bar as he rides in the 198 km and third stage of the 2011 Tour de France cycling race run between Olonne-sur-Mer and Redon, western France. (AFP)

Frank Schleck couldn't tell by the taste if it was a bee or wasp. He was merely happy not to develop an allergic reaction after being stung inside his mouth when he swallowed an insect while riding in the Tour de France.

The Leopard-Trek cyclist from Luxembourg had just started the team time trial in Sunday's second stage when his unwelcome visitor arrived.

He told The Associated Press on Monday that he initially "panicked" before remembering previous similar experiences that helped calm him.

Schleck also cut his nose during the stage after hitting a camera. He struggled to match the pace of his teammates as Leopard-Trek finished four seconds behind stage winner Garmin-Cervelo.

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