Cyclist launched into crowd in horror crash


Two riders were hospitalised and multiple spectators required medical treatment after a crash catapulted an Olympic gold medallist into the crowd during a Commonwealth Games qualifying race on the high-banked, Lee Valley velodrome.

England’s Matt Walls was treated in the stands for almost 40 minutes after both he and his bike were flung off the track.

The 24-year-old, who won the omnium at last year’s Tokyo Olympics, and Isle of Man rider Matt Bostock were taken to hospital after the incident in which several riders collided on a turn.

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Walls was later released from the hospital.

“Following medical treatment in hospital, Matt Walls has been discharged with stitches in his forehead, scrapes and bruises but thankfully no major injuries,” Team England said in a statement.

“We send our best wishes to all other riders and spectators involved in the crash and thank the medical teams for their expert care.”

Bostock had a CT scan from which the initial prognosis was positive, his Isle of Man team said.

The morning session of cycling was abandoned and spectators were asked to leave the stadium as Walls received treatment behind a temporary screen after the crash.

Witnesses said that because of the gradient of the banking on the track, spectators in the front row could not see the crash unfolding, nor Walls coming towards them.

One man received treatment for cuts to his arm and a young girl also required medical assistance.

Officials from several teams sprinted towards the stricken riders after the crash on the final lap of the second qualifying heat.

“I think the crashes are getting worse and it’s because the speeds are getting higher, the positions (on the bike) are getting more extreme,” five-time British Olympic champion Laura Kenny said.

“Some of the pursuit positions people are getting in, you see people crashing into the back of people.

“At some point, the UCI is going to have to put a cap on these positions. Maybe there should be screens because Matt should not have been able to go over the top and into the crowd, that’s pretty damn dangerous.”

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