Video: Track star wipe-out after starting gate left on velodrome (not for faint-hearted)

Posted on: March 14th, 2014

This screw-up during the track cycling at the South American Games had to be seen to be believed and was devastating for the rider involved.



As organisational cock-ups go, this has to be one of the most stupid in recent years; leaving the rider involved in agony on the track seriously injured.

The video below was shot this week during the track cycling of the South American Games.

Irene Aravena, one of Chile’s leading track cyclists, was part of her country’s sprint pair going head-to-head with Brazil in the ride off for the bronze medal.

But the occasion wasn’t long turning to horror when officials left the starting gate on the track only for Aravena to plough into it as she came down the home straight.

The race was held on a new velodrome, billed as the jewel in the crown of the Games being held in Chile.

As the two teams started, the red flag came out and whistles were blown for a false start.

The Brazilian duo appeared to hear the false start being declared and slowly made their way around the track intending to return to their starting gates.

However, the host nation duo did not seem to realise a false start had been called and they rode around the track, intending to build for their sprint.

When they got around to the start gates the Brazilians had used, Estefania Ñúñez was leading the Chilean duo.

Instead of the gates being quickly taken off the track immediately the race got underway, they were left in place because the riders would be starting again due to their false start.

Ñúñez spotted the gates at the last moment and swerved to avoid them. However, despite some frantic flag waving form the officials track-side, Aravena didn’t realise what she was hurtling towards until it was way too.

And with a fixed wheel on all track bikes and no brakes, she absolutely ploughed into the gates, went over the handlebars as her bike broke in two and was left sprawling on the ground in agony.

After being taken to hospital she was diagnosed with a broken knee cap.

The medal ride-off was cancelled, leaving Brazil with the bronze and the Chilean cycling federation blasting the organisers for using such inexperienced track officials.

It’s all in the video below.