Australian cyclist suffers painful crash after handlebars fall off mid-race

·2 min read
IZU, JAPAN - AUGUST 02: Alexander Porter of Team Australia after falls during the Men´s team pursuit qualifying of the Track Cycling on day 10 of the Tokyo Olympics 2021 games at Izu Velodrome on August 02, 2021 in Izu, Shizuoka, Japan. (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
Alexander Porter of Team Australia gets up after suffering a crash during the men's team pursuit qualification at the Tokyo Olympics. (Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

An Australian track cyclist suffered a bizarre high-speed crash at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday after his handlebars appeared to snap midway through a race.

Alexander Porter was riding as man four in the men's team pursuit qualification when the horror malfunction took place, sending him to the floor nose first.

Although Porter, 25, was soon back on his feet, he appeared to have hurt his arm and shoulder and suffered track burns to his face.

After requesting a re-run, the Australian quartet were allowed a second attempt from competition officials but eventually finished fifth and out of contention for gold.

IZU, JAPAN - AUGUST 2, 2021: Australia's Alexander Porter falls during the men's team pursuit qualifying cycling track event during the 2020 Summer Olympic Games at the Izu Velodrome. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)
Australia's Alexander Porter fell midway through the men's team pursuit qualification. (Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)
Australia's Alexander Porter reacts after crashing during the men's track cycling team pursuit qualifying event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Izu Velodrome in Izu, Japan, on August 2, 2021. (Photo by Odd ANDERSEN / AFP) (Photo by ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Alexander Porter's handlebars appeared to completely fall apart during the run. (Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images)
IZU, JAPAN - AUGUST 02: Alexander Porter of Team Australia after falls during the Men´s team pursuit qualifying of the Track Cycling on day 10 of the Tokyo Olympics 2021 games at Izu Velodrome on August 02, 2021 in Izu, Shizuoka, Japan. (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
Alexander Porter was soon on his feet again. (Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
IZU, JAPAN - AUGUST 02: (L-R) Alexander Porter and Leigh Howard of Team Australia sprint during the Men´s team pursuit qualifying of the Track Cycling on day 10 of the Tokyo Olympics 2021 games at Izu Velodrome on August 02, 2021 in Izu, Shizuoka, Japan. (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
Australia were handed a second run after the disaster and places fifth. (Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

The team, which previously won silver at the Rio 2016 Olympics. finished more than half a second down on Team GB.

Chris Boardman, commentating for the BBC, said: "I don't think I've seen that before. That is a real surprise. 

"That must have been such a shock and it will resonate with the other [Australian] riders who are using the same equipment.”

Australia's qualification nightmare means Britain will now take on Denmark, the world record holders, on Tuesday as Ed Clancy, Ollie Wood, Ethan Hayter and Ethan Vernon aim to win a fourth successive men's team pursuit gold for Team GB.

Meanwhile, GB qualified second fastest in the women’s team pursuit.

Germany had earlier smashed the world record by nearly three seconds, set by Britain while winning gold in 2016.

The Team GB quartet of Laura Kenny, Elinor Barker, Katie Archibald and Josie Knight were then inside Germany's new mark before settling for second in qualification.

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