FOUR riders participating the Blayney 2 Bathurst cycling race had to be taken to hospital after an accident early in Sunday’s event.
The accident involved a group of riders and occurred just outside Barry, with the Bathurst Cycling Classic organisers reporting the incident on Facebook at 9.55am.
St John’s Ambulance and NSW Ambulance attended to provide medical care to the riders injured.
“There were nine riders that fell and we ended up transporting four of them to hospital,” a spokesperson for NSW Ambulance said.
Three riders were taken to Orange Health Service, one with head injuries and possible spinal injuries, one with suspected spinal injuries and one with abrasions.
The fourth rider was taken to Bathurst Base Hospital with abrasions and a shoulder injury.
The other riders involved in the accident made the decision to continue with the race.
Unfortunately, the misfortune in the race did not end there.
Another rider, Brandon Conway from Port Macquarie, ran into trouble on a bridge and ended up falling from the bridge.
“I think it was just too much speed and it just all closed in too quickly and I couldn’t slow down quick enough, so when I was pretty much bumped I just fell off the side of the bridge,”
He landed in a bush, which softened the fall and prevented serious injury, and chose to continue his ride.
While it wasn’t an easy or injury-free ride for some, it was a good race for quite a few riders.
The biggest victor on the day was Matthew Dinham, who was the outright winner.
Georgia Whitehouse also had a big smile on her face after being crowned the female victor in the 110 kilometre long course, while Bathurst’s own Kirsten Howard won the women’s 70 kilometre short course.
Lincoln Hey was the men’s short course winner and, in another win for Bathurst, local rider Nick North finished third in the category behind Joshua Brodie.
The B2B was the last event in the two-day Bathurst Cycling Classic, which featured a total of four events.
These were criterium racing in the central business district, a hill climb event at Mount Panorama and a session of family fun riding on the criterium course.
There was a record number of entrants this year, with more than 2500 people participating.
By comparison, last year there were 2040 entrants.
Mayor Graeme Hanger said the increased number of entrants could be attributed to two things.
The first was that the B2B was one of only two qualifying events for the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Gran Fondo World Championships.
“That’s a world-wide race of course and it is just the pinnacle of road racing for amateurs,” Cr Hanger said
The second factor contributing to the big numbers, Cr Hanger said, was that the B2B is a long race held entirely on closed roads.
On top of the great achievements for riders, the cycling festival has given Bathurst’s economy a big boost in a very short time, as well as extended the financial benefits to other parts of the Central West.
Cr Hanger said the restaurants and accommodation providers will have had a bumper weekend with all the riders and their entourages relying heavily on them so they can attend the events in the festival.
“At least $2 million will come into the economy from this race,” he said.
He said the whole event at the very least won’t get any smaller, but it has the potential to become even bigger.
“It’s a high quality event. That’s what brings people and what will continue to bring people here,” Cr Hanger said.