Team Type 1’s Ben Brooks is hospitalized in stable condition following a violent crash Wednesday during the opening stage of the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic in Bend, Ore.
The 29-year-old Australian fell victim to one of a half dozen cattle guard crossings along the 83-mile (133.5 km) Prineville Road Race. A cattle guard is a series of parallel metal bars installed in the road to deter cattle and other hoofed animals from crossing. The gaps between the bars are wide enough for an animal’s legs to fall through.
Team Type 1 Sport Director Ed Beamon said riders who witnessed the crash told him the cattle guard sent Brooks into a spin that catapulted him off his bicycle as the 150-rider field was traversing a mostly flat, but twisting, section before a descent about 50 miles (80 km) into the race.
“They had to be going about 60 kilometers and hour (37 mph) and it was single-file, full gas at the time,” Beamon said.
According to the Bend Bulletin, Brooks was unconscious at the scene of the crash, and a physician attended to him before a rescue squad rushed Brooks to a local hospital.
“He is at an excellent facility with excellent care and his condition is stable,” Beamon said. “We are just reaching out now for good thoughts and prayers. We are fairly confident he will be OK.”
Brooks’s wife, Rachael, was en route to Bend Wednesday night, Beamon said.