The 24 Hours of Dubai mountain bike race was been cut short after a fatal accident. "We ended the race, after a rider died," said Stephan Salscheider, race organiser. "We are shocked and stunned by the death. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to his family and friends. In consultation with the other participants, we have decided to end the race immediately out of respect for him and his family."
The 45 year-old rider, whose name was not immediately available, was found laying unconscious on the ground not quite two hours after the race had started. Medical personnel were rushed to the scene but were unable to help. There were no witness as to what happened. The official cause of death is not yet known. Organizers said after the accident that the crash may not have caused the rider's death.
Further examinations are planned, and the bike will also be checked for possible defects. BikeRadar.com has since identified the rider as Thomas Graessler and reported that he fell while negotiating steps into the amphitheatre section, sustaining "severe neck injuries".
The 24-hour race was the first mountain bike race in the United Arab Emirates.
What happen was, on his 2nd lap, he fell during the descent at the stairway section of the amphitheater. Sommersaulted/endoed twice and broke his neck. But from insiders info, he might have pased out or suffered a cardiac arrest going up the said obstacle and crashed.
Im pretty sure that the scenario of breaking your neck on a mtb race is very slim.
Another factor to consider is insurance, if they will claim insurance with the kind of result, the company will not pay, hence cardiac arrest. My wild guess only.
I was there with the Dubikers and Dubai Racers as team mechanic, coach and monitor. We were the earliet who set up camp and tents with 12 bikes prepped for two teams of 4 and spares with Mamati a race manager.
From the first lap of about 4.5km loop, the lap record was 10:28mins and our starter did it in 14mins tarting at 28 position. 1st lap he wa 7th and shaved 2 mins when the group spread out. 2nd lap we were 5th and the 3 cyclit ahead was already huffing and puffing while our rider still trying to get to a comfort zone. He broke the lap record but was stopped at 5th when the accident happened. Too bad, our team was peaking at the right time with their training and couldve have gotten a good placing or maybe win the race.
Our lady friend said when the racer who died passed our area before the accident that he looks like he's about to die due to his very pale/white and face and truggle when it was only 2nd lap into the race.
Badburn, brad, this is not the first race in the middle east or UAE. There has been lots of them held.
thanks enzo...btw, if you were the organizer, would you cancel the race after the incident? how tricky was that section? any pics?
dami tanong no.
Never!! However sad we look at it, it's part of the game and he uffered the consequence. The other participants felt cheated since they all prepared and flew from all over the world just to compete. kakainis talaga. May he rest in peace. I'll try to post pic later, really it was a relatively flat and sandy tracks.
brad, this is not the first race in the middle east or UAE. There has been lots of them held.
Yup, that's what i thought so, I just copied the whole write-up on the news.
This is sad news for us mtbers in Dubai. Sad because a colleague died and very sad because, they may not allow such an event to happen again in the near future...
We have not even started the 6 hour race (there were the 6 hour race and the 24 hour race) when they stopped it. I lost AED 125.00 (for the 6 hours), also lost the experience but gained the confidence to join another race and got myself 5 cool T-shirts ;D
As I can see from the pics provided by Ralph (rw55), the ampi theater is not at all the most difficult part as you are not climbing the actual stairs coz they have placed built up pavement on top of the stairs. It's the sand trail which is the most difficult as we can see several cyclists falling off their bikes...several German cyclists have scratches all over because they thought the trees got soft leaves but they never thought that these trees are wild trees with spiky leaves and stems.
Though we are divided into several groups, the Dubai-Philippines team came prepared for this event and we even agreed to use a common jersey. Amor Baluyot, a former national team member led the group. I have listed in the 6 hour race as an individual participant...hhhmmmm lakas loob ;D (trans: something strong inside ;D)...hey, we even have other nationalities who joined our group...these "other nationalities" are now Filipinos by heart...they never fail to join our group not only in cycling but also other events...
And the Philippine support team is fantastic, complete with all the tools, tents, timers and watchers, and most specially...the food...and Mamati in short shorts ;D!