A stage of the Vuelta a Colombia cycling race finished in extraordinary circumstances as the race winner crashed into his wife after the winning line, leaving her requiring stitches.
Luis Carlos Chia came through the field on the drenched streets of Monteria, northern Colombia, and pipped Oscar Quiroz to first place after a thrilling sprint to the finish.
But the 25-year-old’s elation quickly turned to anguish as he crashed into his partner, Claudia Roncancio, who was trying to take pictures of her triumphant husband.
Local outlet El Tiempo provided a reassuring update on Roncancio, saying: ‘She is conscious. The doctors have put four stitches on her and she will be under observation for the next few hours.’
Meanwhile, the cyclist – who was wearing the yellow jersey as overall leader after winning the opening stage – said: ‘I don’t really know what happened in this moment, I was beyond the finish line.
Absolute MADNESS in the finish of stage 3 in @Vueltacolombia1 ! ð±ð¨ð´ Luis Carlos Chia wins after swimming through the last km and passing Quiroz on the finish line. While celebrating, he crashed hard into his wife! Incredible stuff. #VColombia2022 pic.twitter.com/Qosqxuwb0M
‘I tried to brake, but the bike didn’t respond. Thank god she never lost consciousness, they are checking her now. More than anything, it was a scare.’
Roncancio, a cyclist-turned photographer who now travels with her husband and records his cycling successes, was taken to hospital before being released on Monday.
Colombia cyclist Egan Bernal was among those concerned by the crash and posted on social media: ‘It’s the Vuelta a Colombia and cyclists literally risk their lives to offer a show, but the safety of each and every one of them should always be guaranteed.’
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