Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

This Is The Most Poorly Organized Bike Race We've Ever Seen

Know as you watch this video that only minor injuries were suffered, so you're free to enjoy these crashes as slapstick, and a true mess of course design.

This comes from Sunday's Crystal Cup bike race outside of Washington, D.C., part of the Air Force Association Cycling Classic. The initial crash, at the 33-second mark, looks worse than it is. The camera doesn't capture the collision, but it's not the car hitting the race marshal. It's a straggler behind the peloton that clips her and knocks her down—the car was thankfully able to stop before hitting the downed cyclist.

But wait: that's the lead car. Take a look at the course map—this is the north section. The peloton is coming back around. They have no idea what's waiting for them. As officials desperately try to get the riders to stay right (even as one yells, "Left! Left!"), one swings wide and attempts to bunny hop the prone marshal. It goes poorly.


That rider, Tim Rugg, wrote about the crash on his blog.

For years I've been saying that there would be a serious crash in this out and back section of the Crystal Cup course in the Air Force Classic and of course I fall victim. What the video doesn't show is a cyclist from the main field clipping the official as the official seen laying on the road tries to clear out of the way to allow the breakaway that has about thirty seconds on the field led by the Volt pace car is about to come through. The incident is unknown to anyone in the main field and we come out of the final corner of the course upwards of 30mph causing a whip that creates a chain reaction of the riders behind having to accelerate out of the corner to maintain position. I always took the outside line due to the shield from the draft and of course having no idea the field would have to jump three car lanes right to avoid the chaos the crash caused right in the middle of the course.

Rugg writes he only suffered road rash and a deep gash. According to police, the marshal was treated for minor injuries. Two other participants were hospitalized on Sunday.

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