10 riders were taken to hospital – with one placed in an induced coma – after crashing into a police motorcycle at a National Road Series race in Australia.
The incident happened on the opening lap of the men’s race – the final event of this year’s series – at Farrant’s Hill, New South Wales, reports SBS.
The broadcaster says that the peloton, strung out in single file due to crosswinds, was travelling at an estimate 55-60 kilometres an hour as riders came round a near-blind bend and encountered the motorcycle, which was parked up on the left-hand side of the road, but not off it.
The officer, who himself sustained an arm injury in the crash, had reportedly stopped to prevent a vehicle from encroaching on the course, which comprised a 14-kilometre loop, after the driver apparently ignored an instruction to wait until the race had passed by.
Riders at the front of the bunch were able to avoid the motorbike, but those further back had less time to react with Cameron Scott of ARA-Pro Racing Sunshine Coast hitting the rear of the motorcycle, and a number of other riders also coming down.
The rider placed in an induced coma after being airlifted to hospital was Ben Carman of Nero Continental, who sustained a broken tibia, broken fibula, and fractured patella.
Scott himself broke his pelvis in the crash, while Tom Chapman of Team Bridgelane sustained a fractured tibia. The remaining seven riders who came down were all taken to various hospitals to have their injuries assessed, but none sustained a fracture.
Race director Michael Crawley told 9News: “It was a very strong field of national riders. It’s a very unfortunate situation. Nobody likes to see anybody hurt.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.