It appears that cyclists worldwide are continuously facing challenges. Various reports and articles from different countries have shed light on the hazards faced by cyclists while riding on roads. These incidents have resulted in numerous accidents and, sadly, fatalities, caused by reckless and aggressive drivers.
Anticipating a similar occurrence at a cycling event may seem unlikely, but that was the reality at the Hong Kong Cyclothon. The event made a comeback to the city after the COVID-19 pandemic, generating much anticipation and enthusiasm. Unfortunately, the atmosphere quickly deflated when a rider’s crash resulted in a fatal pile-up.
Bikers suffer the consequences of poor organization.
The race occurred in the afternoon, with cyclists competing in an eight-lap course along Salisbury Road in Tsim Sha Tsui and the Hung Hom Bypass. The race was open to both amateur and professional cyclists.
During the second lap of the race, a cyclist collided with a traffic cone while attempting to pass other participants. This caused a major pile-up as 13 other cyclists were unable to avoid the crash and also fell.
During the Cyclothon, Qu, a participant, shared their experience of the accident. They explained that while they were descending at high speed, they encountered a large group of people. As they began to slow down, the person in front of them suddenly slowed down as well. Despite their attempts to brake, they were unable to stop in time and ended up colliding with the person’s rear wheel and falling.
The organizers remain steadfast in their position.
The Cyclothon organizers stressed that these occurrences are uncommon and unusual. Every cyclist participating in the event acknowledges the potential for injury. Some cyclists who raised concerns about the track noted that the positioning of traffic cones made the track more narrow.
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The head of the Hong Kong Cycling Association stated that they took great care in ensuring flawless organization, but it is inevitable for chain reactions to occur in cycling events.
Leung noted that comparable incidents have taken place in renowned global competitions like the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia previously, which are not connected to the layout and setup of the track.
Thirteen cyclists were involved in a collision, resulting in 27 individuals being injured. A few sustained minor injuries, but several required hospitalization for medical treatment. Currently, one cyclist is in critical condition at a hospital located in the Kowloon region.
The event was not cancelled right away following the intense conflict, as experts and referees who were present at the event evaluated the situation. Some participants stood by the organizers and stated that they did not notice any problems with the track. While the incident was unfortunate, it was not due to inadequate planning and organization. Even Olympic medallist Sarah Lee-Wai agreed that the track was in good condition and accidents like this can happen.
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A recent incident at the Hong Kong Cyclothon resulted in 27 cyclists getting injured and sparked concerns about safety. The story was first reported on EssentiallySports.