Pro Australian cyclist Loren Rowney has made headlines across the world this morning for all the wrong reasons, after a sprint finish in The Netherlands took a turn for the horrific, as a spectator appeared to reach out and grab Rowney’s handlebars, causing her to topple spectacularly from her bicycle and subsequently break her collarbone. If the spectator’s grab was intentional, it’s shameful trolling at its absolute worst.
The video of the incident has been making its rounds today, showing the thrilling sprint finish at the Molecatan Drenste 8 women’s competition and Rowney’s alarming fall. The event was broadcast live—a rare event for women’s cycling, according to Rowney in a post-surgery blog post—footage of the incident was captured and televised instantly. Looking closely, it appears a man in the audience reached out to Rowney’s handlebars to cause the incident.
“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. I can understand how people think that, but looking at the video, no one can say that with certainty. If it’s intentional? I would be really concerned. I know there are malicious people in the world. Things like this have happened before where spectators have done things intentionally to cause harm.
On our national road course, there was a resident that really hated the fact that cyclists were racing in his hometown. 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. I really hope that this guy didn’t intentionally grab my handlebar and cause me to crash because that’s assault. There’s a lot of debate and discussions and obviously I’m getting tagged in it all, but I’m focused on surgery and healing. If it was intentional, I really hope they find the guy and there are repercussions for what he did.”
Watch very closely below. In any case, onya, Loren.