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"Just chaos": Track cycling event restarted after huge crash brings down half the field

The first night of the UCI Track Champions League event in Mallorca was overshadowed by the incident during the men's elimination race...

The first night of action at the opening round of the UCI Track Champions League in Mallorca was marred by a huge crash in the men's elimination race, which saw riders treated for minor injuries and delays while the track was repaired.

An army of workers set about getting the track back into a condition fit for racing, taping over splinters and damage caused by the pile-up, which happened in the early stages of the elimination race, the event which sees the last rider to cross the finish line removed from the field at regular intervals until just the winner is left.

Later in the evening the race eventually restarted, Dylan Bibic of Canada overpowering British rider Will Tidball to take the victory.

The earlier crash happened just after the bell rang to signal the lap of the first elimination, a nervous bunch desperate to avoid being the first rider removed from the race jostling for position.

Mark Stewart of Britain was one of the first riders to hit the track, a shocked Rob Hatch on commentary exclaiming: "There's a massive crash. Oh my word!"

UCI Track Champions League crash (Simon Wilkinson/

[Simon Wilkinson/]

"And this is going to take some sorting out. What a disastrous way to start the elimination at the UCI Track Champions League. What on earth happened there?" he asked "More than half of the bunch are down, every rider bar seven are on the ground and this is not a good sight.

"Thankfully the medics are making their way up to the track, I'm seeing quite a few riders already, the usual bits of burn on the track, everyone checking themselves out. It is going to take a real bit of sorting out this. We were looking forward to action her but we didn't exactly mean this.

"Three years of Champions League, luckily we've managed to avoid mostly things like this and things as big as this... [it] really puts a dampener on things.

Watching the replay the commentator noted: "At the bottom of the track there's somebody who just edges up, it's that touch of wheels that takes everybody down, about half way through the group."

UCI Track Champions League crash (GCN+)
UCI Track Champions League crash (GCN+)

Afterwards, Stewart was seen exchanging words with a Dutch rider, the crash apparently caused by the latter moving up for position underneath the Brit.

Describing the opening exchanges as "just chaos", Stewart said everyone had wanted to be at the front and he "got sandwiched". "Racing incident, these things happen, it's not nice and I hope everyone's okay," he told the TV cameras afterwards.

A fellow Brit, William Perrett, also gave his assessment, suggesting that "unfortunately one of the Dutch riders maybe came underneath Mark [Stewart] and he was so far up in the bunch that he wiped him out".

"Then unfortunately I just piled into him with half the field," he said. "It's a shame but that's the problem when it's the first elimination of the series, everyone's a bit nervous, everyone's got quite fresh legs and everyone is willing to go through gaps and risk [crashes]. Unfortunately, mistakes happen."

UCI Track Champions League crash (GCN+)

Adam Blythe, working for GCN's live coverage, saw Stewart's bike had a "cracked front wheel, bent in half".

"You can see the arguments here now, one of the Dutch riders, with cuts and bruises on his chin," he added, spotting the words between Stewart and the rider. "These things do happen, it's why it is such a dangerous sport. Everyone seems to be all right which is the most important thing."

 After a short delay racing continued, Katie Archibald also starring on the opening night, finishing second in the women's scratch race before winning the women's elimination event to lead the women's endurance standings.

Dan is the news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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tootsie323 | 6 months ago

That's a rather extreme interpretation of the elimination aspect of the event.

MichaelWinnerRIP | 6 months ago

Hi Dan,

Please use Briton to describe a British rider; Brit is an American term, and we don't need and more of those!


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