Austrian junior hospitalised after ‘collision with bus’ during World Championships recon

Leila Gschwentner was scheduled to rider the junior road race - the details of how the crash happened are not yet clear

The 2021 World Championships in Flanders
(Image credit: Getty )

An Austrian junior rider has been hospitalised at the World Championships after a “collision with a bus,” according to the Austrian team. 

A statement from Austria’s cycling federation, the ORV, confirmed that Leila Gschwentner was involved in an incident in Leuven, during a recon of the junior road race. 

The 17-year-old was hit by a bus during the preview ride on Wednesday and was taken to hospital with a shoulder injury, but there are no signs of further injury according to the federation. 

A statement, released on Wednesday (September 22) said: “Austrian junior rider Leila Gschwentner was involved in a traffic incident in Leuven.

“The 17-year-old was reconning the course for the junior road race at the World Championships, which will be held on Saturday. 

“She was involved in a collision with a public bus. The Austrian was taken to hospital, where a shoulder injury was detected. 

“According to the current information, there are no other injuries.” 

Gschwentner’s crash follows the tragic incident on the eve of the Flanders 2021 World Championships, as former pro Chris Anker Sørensen was hit and killed by a driving during a training ride. 

Sørensen, who was part of the broadcast team for Danish television, was riding the time trial course last weekend when he was knocked from his bike, later succumbing to his injuries.

The cycling world has been hit hard by the loss of Sørensen, with the newly-crowned under-23 champion Johan Price-Pejtersen amongst those to pay tribute.

Pejtersen said: “It was very emotional for me. We’ve all heard the tragic news about Chris and for me it was about showing and paying respect for his work. That is what I wanted to honour today. 

“In Denmark Chris is known in more than just the community of bike riders.

“He’s so much more than a bike rider. He’s loved in the Danish population for it. He’s been a huge influence for us young riders, leading the way in making cycling popular, so we can get inspired to start, or believe in the pro life. 

“He’s been a big influence on everybody and not just in cycling, in the general public. It’s a big loss.” 

Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex is the digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.

Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. 

Away from journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.