A motorbike rider has died after being involved in a collision with a triathlete during the cycling leg of the Hamburg Ironman event this morning.
The race continued despite the fatality and two people taken to hospital, prompting criticism from some. News of the death was announced by police in the event's host city of Hamburg, a head-on collision seeing a race-support motorbike rider and their photographer passenger collide with a triathlete cycling in the opposite direction.
Footage of the collision showed athletes cycling in both directions, on their respective sides of the road separated by a line of event motorbikes. One motorbike is away from the rest, riding closer to the far side of the road and towards oncoming riders when a collision occurs out of shot, the triathlete and bike sent flying across the road and into the path of riders travelling in the opposite direction.
Local police released a statement confirming that a 70-year-old motorbike rider had been killed and died at the scene, the 26-year-old triathlete treated for severe injuries. The motorbike's passenger, a 50-year-old camera operator was treated in hospital for shock, and a police investigation is underway, although the race continued.
German broadcaster ARD ended its livestream however the feed on Ironman's website and YouTube channel continued, although with comments disabled. Ironman's social media updates have not reported on the race since 7.25am (BST), many of the replies on Twitter and Facebook expressing anger at the race continuing and the lack of communication about the collision.
One reply asked why there had not been an official statement, calling the silence "disgusting". "Sorry, but just stop it," another added. "Just stop and comment on the incident. Nobody cares about the race," another read.
In a statement, Ironman organisers said: "At 36km of the Ironman Hamburg bike course, a motorcycle race vehicle, carrying an official race photographer, was involved in a collision with a race participant.
"It is with our deepest regret to confirm the passing of the motorcycle operator from a significant medical event. Our thoughts and care are with the family whom we will support as we are able while they go through this difficult time.
"The race participant and the photographer received onsite care, before being transported to a nearby hospital where they continue to receive treatment. We thank the safety personnel and first responders who attended the scene to assist those involved in the incident.
"Ironman is continuing to work through the situation with local authorities. The health and wellness of all those involved in the event is paramount, and we will continue to produce the safest event possible with all stakeholders."
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.