Press Release: Two days after four riders were taken to hospital during the GMHBA Tour of Geelong, another three were transported after a spectacular crash involving 12 women in the criterium section of the 2009 Victorian Open Road Championships, held at Easter Park today.
Ballarat’s Beth Canny, fellow Victorian Emy Huntsman and West Australian Rebecca Halliday suffered severe injuries in a crash 300 metres from the finish line on the final lap.
“Their were bikes spinning, flying in the air and doing 360’s, knocking riders off their bikes, girls were going over handlebars and about a dozen bikes ended up with damaged handlebars, saddles and wheels. It’s the most spectacular crash I’ve ever seen”, said Neutral Spares, Martin Millwood from Shimano after the accident.
Spectators were shocked as the peloton, sprinting towards the finish line, came undone, riders crashing hard, Huntsman and Halliday breaking collarbones and Canny ending up with multiple minor injuries. Several riders received medical attention for grazing and deep cuts.
“It’s the worst crash I’ve attended to in 35 years in women’s racing”, medical officer Bobby Hall commented afterwards.
Robert Doyle (Prime Estate Buyers Agents) withdrew from the men’s criterium to remain close to girlfriend Beth Canny while ambulance members attended to her. For Emy Huntsman, attending only her second criterium, the choice to change sports from rowing to riding may take a little longer to consider.
Meanwhile, 32 year old Victorian Jenny MacPherson tried to keep a cool head as she stepped up to the podium to accept the gold medal for the 2009 Victorian Open Road Criterium Stage. Fellow Victorian Peta Mullins was second while Imogen Vize from NSW claimed the bronze.
The women will finish the weekend with the final day of racing in the 2009 Victorian Open Road Championships, a 93.6 kilometre road race to be held in Portarlington tomorrow.