Australian track rider crashes after handlebars snap off during team pursuit qualifiers

The incident occurred during the men's team pursuit qualification round

Tokyo Olympics
(Image credit: Getty)

Australian track rider Alexander Porter crashed during qualifying for the team pursuit final at the Tokyo Olympics after his handlebars snapped off.

As the four riders rounded a bend, Porter slid out at the back of the quartet, a touch of wheels initially suspected to have caused the fall but television replays showing he hadn't been touched, his hands fell and he followed as the handlebars gave way.

Australia immediately signalled they were stopping, able to have another go under the 'recognised mishap' rule, as Porter started to pick himself up from the track.

The recognised mishap rule entitles a team or rider to one restart if they suffer a legitimate fall, a puncture or the breakage of an essential part of the bicycle.

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As he exited the track, you could see Porter's right shoulder and arm were bashed up, also trying to shake the pain out of his left hand. As he took a seat close-ups also showed he had also suffered grazes to his face and nose.

>>> Tokyo 2020 Olympics track cycling LIVE: Follow live updates from day one in Izu Velodrome

The other three riders continued to pedal around the track, patting each other on the back, trying to reassure themselves.

Tokyo officials then began work patching up any damage to the track with tape.

While the Australians composed themselves, Great Britain took to the track to continue the qualifiers, Denmark having set the fastest time so far, setting a new Olympic record after Filippo Ganna's Italy had done the same moments earlier.

20 minutes later, Australia were back on the track for another go, including Porter, who could only manage fifth place after their ordeal with a time of 3-48.4, meaning they were out of the fight for gold and silver, with Team GB sneaking in by holding onto fourth place. Denmark, Italy and New Zealand qualified with the three fastest times.

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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.

Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).

I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.