Professional road cyclists could be forgiven for occasionally getting a little bit annoyed at the folk that come and watch them.
Now, we’re not saying that all riders hate spectators, but it’s no secret that sometimes the fans stand a little bit close or shove their cameras a little too close to the bikes passing by at impressive mph.
Velocio-Sram rider Loren Rowney has particular reason to feel aggrieved at the sidelines at the minute though, after a spectator appeared to grab her handlebars as she sprinted to the finish of the Dutch Drentse 8 van Wetsterveld race, sending her crashing into the ground.
For a start, the Drentse 8 van Wetsterveld just so happens to be 138km, so Aussie rider Loren had put in a hell of shift to get into such a good position from which to sprint to the finish line.
Granted, Loren wasn’t going to win the race, but she did look on track to get a second or possibly third place finish before she was brutally tugged down by an insane “fan”.
Think about the money involved in that incident that the rider will subsequently have lost, and the injuries that she could have suffered that could have put her out for the season before the 2015 UCI Women’s Road World Cup had even begun.
If a similar incident happened in mountain biking, BMX or skateboarding, the guilty party would probably have ended up losing a few teeth… If a similar incident happened in football, causing such danger and consequences for the athletic pro, the supporter would be banned and possibly charged by police. If it happened in mountain biking, BMX or skateboarding, the guilty party would probably end up losing a few teeth.
Thankfully, Rowney’s team have confirmed that she is up and walking, although it’s still not certain if she will continue with her cycling calendar as planned.
The lesson to be learned? If you’re going to go and watch some pro cycling – which you absolutely should – just don’t be an idiot. The costs can be huge.