Watch: Cyclo-cross rider snaps dislocated finger back into place mid-race

Michael van den Ham said his finger was at "the grossest 45-degree angle"

Michael Van den Ham snaps dislocated finger back into place
(Image credit: Eurosport / GCN+)

Canadian cyclo-cross racer Michael van den Ham dislocated his finger in Sunday’s Cyclo-cross World Championships race, before snapping it back into place and remounting his bike to ride on. 

The 30-year-old suffered the injury in the opening minutes of the men’s elite event in Hoogerheide, Netherlands. As he sat in the dirt with riders careering past him, Van den Ham then composed himself before briskly yanking his finger back into position. 

Captioning a video of the incident on Instagram after the race, the Canadian wrote: “Sometimes you just got to snap out of it.

“My race was actually good barring this one… Mishap… but this will always be the race where I dislocated my finger and put it back in.”

After the event, Van den Ham splinted his finger with a ballpoint pen and some black electrical tape. He then took to his Instagram stories to provide more context on his gnarly injury. 

“I hear it was on TV that I dislocated my finger and that’s true,” he said. “It popped out and it was pointed at the grossest 45-degree angle, my index finger towards my pinky, my left hand.

“There’s no way I ever could have done this outside of the first lap of the race, but I grabbed it, reefed it in, popped it back into place, did the rest of the race. Crazy.” 

The Canadian, a four-time national cyclo-cross champion, eventually placed 33rd of the 40-rider field, having been pulled from the race with two laps to go. He told his Instagram followers that finishing the race early was “disappointing”, but it gave him the chance to watch Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert sprint for the title. “Which was like insane,” Van den Ham said, “can’t believe it.” 

In the end, it was Van der Poel who took the glory after a tense 10 laps of racing. The Dutchman kicked ahead of his long-term rival Van Aert on the course's final bend, sprinting on the hoods and staying away to the line. 

The victory earned Van der Poel his fifth rainbow jersey in the discipline.

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Tom Davidson
News and Features Writer

Tom joined Cycling Weekly as a news and features writer in the summer of 2022, having previously contributed as a freelancer. He is the host of The TT Podcast, which covers both the men's and women's pelotons and has featured a number of prominent British riders. 

An enthusiastic cyclist himself, Tom likes it most when the road goes uphill and actively seeks out double-figure gradients on his rides. 

He's also fluent in French and Spanish and holds a master's degree in International Journalism.