Teammates finish lap as Batterley rides off to hospital
An X-ray showing Ian Batterley's broken collarbone after his first-lap crash at last weekend's 24-hour mountain bike championships at Stromlo Forest Park. brokenshoulder.jpg
Officially, Ian Batterley's Australian 24-hour mountain biking championships ended after just one lap, but in reality he fell agonisingly short of completing it.
Batterley went over a jump at Stromlo Forest Park and his bike ''basically collapsed underneath him'' upon landing, within shouting distance of the finish line, breaking his collarbone in the process.
His AECOM teammates saw it happen and a couple of quick-thinking paramedics, who were also competing, rushed to give assistance.
With Batterley taken to hospital and his front wheel destroyed, his teammates carried his bike to the finish line to complete his lap.
Batterley was still waiting to undergo surgery yesterday but teammate Marcus Sainsbury predicted he would be back to finish his lap next year.
His injury reduced the team of six to four, after another team member broke his finger before the event.
''He's obviously disappointed he didn't get to finish a lap,'' Sainsbury said. ''At least his teammates made the first lap count by getting his bike across the line.
''Officially it will go down in the record books that he's done a lap anyway … I think everyone's keen to do it again next year, obviously a couple of us have got different motivation to wanting to complete it next year in terms of finishing unfinished business.''
When you combine mud, rain, rocks, mountain bikes and nearly 2000 people trying to stay awake for 24 hours, there's always going to be injuries - which makes the handful of broken bones suffered in the 24-hour championships at the weekend a ''good result''.
Canberra Off-Road Cyclists president Sarah O'Callaghan said she knew of only four broken bones - two collarbones, one leg and a shoulder.
O'Callaghan said such injuries were just part of the sport.
''To a degree that's racing and they were all in different spots [on the course]. But the other 1900 riders managed to not break themselves,'' she said. ''Every cyclist breaks their collarbone at some point in their career, I think.''
Jason English won his fifth consecutive men's solo title, while Liz Smith won the women's.
Next year the world championships will be held at Stromlo.