Race Abandoned After Cyclist's Horrifying Crash Into Starting Gate

Earlier this week in the South American Games, Chile faced Brazil in the bronze medal women's team sprint race. The starting horn sounded and both teams of cyclists exploded out of their respective starting gates, only for the officials to call a false start. That's when disaster happened.

Both teams took off around the track, but three of the four competitors heard the false start. Chilean cyclist Irene Aravena, however, didn't, and kept her position on the inside lane. A gang of race officials at the bottom of the track had one job: pull the starting gate off of the track after cyclists take off. But because it was a false start, they all said, collectively, "fuck it," and one waved a red warning flag instead.

Aravena tore around the bend, and her partner kept pace, shouting to warn her of the oncoming obstacle. But there wasn't enough time, and the Chilean flew directly into the gate.


Her bike broke in half, and Aravena was thrown into the air and flipped before crashing to the ground. It's a gnarly, gnarly crash, but not one with a happy ending. According to Belgian site Sport.be, the cyclist broke both her thigh and kneecap.

Chile had to drop out, and Brazil won the bronze medal. Aravena had to be taken to a nearby hospital, but had a successful surgery.


Here's the video in its entirety.

h/t Michael