Crashes are an inevitable part of cycling, with even World Tour level teams falling victim. Recently, even the Tour de France Femmes made headlines for a team car striking its own rider and the following stage having a crash that included most of the peloton. However, many people do not realize that there is an equal level of danger in the velodrome with track cycling. In 2019, for example, at the European Junior Track Championships, a rider was brutally impaled through his abdomen as a crash caused part of the wooden track to splinter out and trust through his body. However, it is the crash at the Commonwealth Games that made international headlines.
English cyclist Matt Walls is catapulted into the crowd in the crash.
Cycling at the Commonwealth Games was struck by another crash on Sunday afternoon that saw England's Matt Walls catapulted over the top of a barrier into the crowd, leaving athletes and spectators requiring urgent medical attention.
In the second qualifying heat of the men's 15km scratch qualifying race, a multi-rider crash sent Walls flying over the top of a barrier and into the crowd. Fellow racer Matt Bostock was also taken away on a stretcher, while 24-year-old Walls received treatment for more than 40 minutes before being taken away by ambulance. There was a multi-rider crash and England's Matt Walls flew over the top of the barrier and into the crowd, with his bike. Fellow racer Matt Bostock was taken away on a stretcher, while 24-year-old Walls received treatment for more than 40 minutes before being taken away by ambulance.
British Cycling confirmed that both riders were taken to hospital, with Team England adding that Walls was "alert talking" and receiving medical attention. Several spectators were also injured in the incident as well as Canada's Derek Gee who hit the top of the barrier but fortunately didn't follow Walles over it back first as he did.
"We send our best wishes to the riders and spectators involved in an incident and will provide a further update when we can," British Cycling posted on Twitter. Team England added: "Matt is alert talking – as he has been throughout –and is being given medical attention in the hospital."
Spectators were also hurt after Walls' bike had come over the top of barriers on high banking corners. The 24-year-old Olympic omnium champion was trying to avoid riders who had fallen lower down but as he rode up, clipped another wheel and went overtop.
Cyclists go incredibly fast in a velodrome—so fast, in fact, that there is a very real risk of crashing. This is because the bikes are designed to be aerodynamic and lightweight, which makes them more difficult to make micro-adjustments at high speeds. As a result, track cyclists must be extremely careful when riding in a velodrome and always be aware of the potential for danger.