© 2024 Blaze Media LLC. All rights reserved.
You'll Be Able to Spot the Man Responsible for Her Crash in an Instant. The Real Surprise Is Her Selfless Reaction.
Image via YouTube

You'll Be Able to Spot the Man Responsible for Her Crash in an Instant. The Real Surprise Is Her Selfless Reaction.

"The beauty of our sport is the fact that the fans can get so close to us."

She was inches away from winning her race — but then a spectator did something that left her lying broken on the finish line.

The craziest part: She said what happened is part and parcel of the "beauty" of racing.

Australian racing cyclist Loren Rowney was nearing the end of the Molecaten Drentse 8 in the Netherlands on Thursday, trying desperately to overtake leader Giorgia Bronzini, when a spectator's hand slapped her bike, throwing her into the air in a vicious crash.

Image via YouTube

The crash was caught on camera, showing a man's arm hanging over the railing that separates watchers from the race course and catching Rowney's bike.

Image via YouTube

She wound up crawling to the finish with a broken collarbone.

Image via YouTube

Rowney shared her story on Cycling Tips on Saturday, talking about the thrill of the race — and the devastation of her injury:

I was coming up on Giorgia in the sprint on her left, and she could see me. She was trying to hold me as close to the barriers as possible, so I couldn’t come up, which is fair play.

And then suddenly I was flying through the air.

Watch the crash below:

Rowney continued:

I hit the ground hard. My immediate reaction was anger and confusion. I had no idea how the crash had happened.

When I crashed, I rolled across the finish line. That’s when I felt the shooting pain in my shoulder. I knew straightaway that it was my collarbone. It actually felt like the bone had pierced the skin. I was really worried, and I became a little hysterical because I was so worried and in so much pain. I didn’t know what was happening.

When I had an x-ray last night, it confirmed my initial reaction. The broken bone had almost pierced all the way though. They just have to plate it, so it shouldn’t be too complicated, but it was a nasty, nasty tumble.

And it was nasty tumble that many people saw live and many people have seen since. There was a live stream of just the finish line. It’s so rare that we have live footage of a women’s race, but we did with this one – which meant my dad, among many others, watched it happen.

It wasn't until later, she wrote, that she was informed that footage from the course revealed that a man's arm had struck her bike, causing her to crash.

"I only looked at it this morning," Rowney wrote in Saturday, "and I’ve only watched it once. It makes me feel sick."

Loren Rowney. (Image via Twitter)

And yet despite the pain of a lost race and a shattered collarbone, Rowney was not willing to blame the spectator for what might have been an honest mistake.

"I’m aware that there are a lot of people discussing the crash – and that many people that watched the footage think it was intentional," Rowney wrote. "I can understand how people think that, but looking at the video, no one can say that with certainty."

She's dealt with malicious types before, she said.

"On our national road course, there was a resident that really hated the fact that cyclists were racing in his hometown," she recalled. "He put tacks on the road, which caused punctures and crashes as a result. There are bad people out there who do that sort of thing."

Of course, if the spectator did intentionally grab her bike, Rowney said she hopes he faces repercussions — but she doesn't want racing to move spectators away from bikes just because of crashes like hers.

"The beauty of our sport is the fact that the fans can get so close to us," she wrote. "It’s such an intimate experience. It’s the nature of the beast that spectator interference can happen."

On Twitter, Rowney has shared updates on her recovery and while she can't race herself, she's been cheering on her teammates in good spirits.

Dutch investigators are looking into the crash and attempting to track down the man responsible, news.com.au reported.

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

Want to leave a tip?

We answer to you. Help keep our content free of advertisers and big tech censorship by leaving a tip today.
Want to join the conversation?
Already a subscriber?