Australian Cyclist’s Horror Crash As Handlebars Fall Off Mid-Race
An Australian cyclist has suffered a horrific crash after the handlebars fell clean away from his track bike in the middle of a race.
Alex Porter, 25, was sent flying forward following the freak incident, which happened during the men’s team pursuit at the Tokyo Olympic Games, resulting in him hitting the hard floor of the velodrome.
Porter has reportedly suffered burn marks on his nose and chin, as well as splinters and some bleeding. However, he was able to stand up by himself and walk back into the infield after the accident.
Australian teammates Kelland O’Brien, Sam Welsford and Leigh Howard came to a stop after the accident, appearing to be visibly upset.
Six-time Olympic Champion Sir Chris Hoy has offered some insight into what happened, stating:
It will be a catastrophic failure, carbon fibre is so strong, but when it goes, it goes. Hopefully it’s a freak occurrence. That would have given him a real shake.
As per Eurosport, Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins confirmed what had unfolded from track-side at the stadium in Tokyo:
The Australians got up to speed and about three laps in, the rider at the back’s handlebars broke. Luckily he was in position four – I say that because had he been in position two or three he’d have taken the team down with him.
They had to pull themselves together, mechanics change handlebars etc, and they then got a restart 30 minutes later.
Speaking about what could have gone so wrong with the 3D laser handlebars – which are built to measure for each individual cyclist – Wiggins remarked ‘they are quite flimsy, they do tend to crack’, adding, ‘I can only imagine that the bars just snapped under the extreme pressure’.
The Australian team, who had originally been favourites to win, were given a second run later on that evening. However, with Porter having suffered various injuries, they didn’t end up making the top four fastest times, so sadly won’t now have a shot at the gold and silver medals.
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