Police: USA Pro Challenge crash caused by spectators

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— Steamboat Springs police think two spectators who had their backs to the race caused the crash that took down several USA Pro Challenge cyclists Wednesday.

Video

Spectators cause Pro Challenge crash

Video

USA Pro Challenge Stage 3 crash

Capt. Jerry Stabile said at first it was unclear what happened because no police witnessed the crash and video footage captured by other spectators did not clearly show what happened. Stabile said they now have a good idea what happened as the peloton sped toward the finish line in downtown Steamboat.

Stabile said an elderly woman in her 90s along with another person were using a camera to take a picture of themselves with the cyclists in the background as they rode by. They likely did not know how fast the cyclists were riding and were unable to move out of the way, Stabile said.

Stabile was told one of the cyclists went to Yampa Valley Medical Center. The woman went to the hospital on her own and suffered a broken ankle.

Police learned more details about the incident after they were called Thursday to go to the woman's home to pick up a pair of glasses that had mistakenly been given to the woman after the crash.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com

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Comments

Scott Wedel 1 year, 2 months ago

I've been to far smaller bike races with more race control motorcycles riding in front of the cyclists forcing spectators back. Normally a race control motorcycle will be about 30 yards ahead of the pack driving the side of the road making spectators step back.

Neither video shows any motorcycles on the right side of the road. No way should spectators be that far into the road as the pack approaches.

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rhys jones 1 year, 2 months ago

I saw riders pushing spectators back themselves, during the Tour De France. Nobody could foresee what happened here.

I've been looking for a good video of the crash(es) to Facebook family -- there was a reference earlier, in a post that disappeared -- the live coverage on the courthouse lawn big-screen beats the heck out of anything I can find -- can anybody help? No Pilot videos, please.

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rhys jones 1 year, 2 months ago

From Ground Zero (or so) the Courthouse, the race was AWESOME!! I'd guess the street crowd at 10K, most yelling for Jens, the leader most of the way... then he started to wane quickly, on the home stretch, one wondered why, after all this way... the pack smelled blood, jumped on the pedals... then there were two separate accidents, in rapid succession, it all covered from several angles, even helicopter, which we saw live on the Courthouse lawn, our (my, anyway) heads spinning between the screen and the street -- WHAT A THRILL!! This was a GREAT event, for this town and everybody, traffic concerns well-mitigated... Great show, folks!!

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Michelle Hale 1 year, 2 months ago

I see a on coming lawsuit for pain, suffering, and damages for poor crowd control. Nothing roped, no one keeping the crowd back. I feel sorry for those harmed, but in the end this could have been avoided.

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