Six professional cyclists were injured on Sunday when a man threw himself in front of a peloton of racers during Stage 1 of the Tour of Qinghai Lake 2016 in China.
The incident occurred as racers sprinted toward the finish line, according to Bai Shide, the tour’s head of security and deputy director-general of Qinghai province’s Department of Public Security.
The cyclists were on the final lap of the six-lap circuit in China’s northwest Qinghai Province, when a bystander threw himself in front of pack. He was hit by a wave of riders, leading to a pileup of bikes.
“A lot of riders were involved in that crash, because it was in the last two kilometres,” said Marko Kump, a road racing cyclist currently riding for Lampre-Merida, an Italian racing team.
The lead racers could be seen narrowly missing the 19-year-old man as he walked into the middle of a crosswalk, before another cyclist was sent flying after striking him.
Several other riders also struck the man, including one racer who appeared to be thrown over his handlebars after the man fell to the pavement in front of his bike.
According to initial investigations, the race’s security department was blamed for the incident. A number of officials and police officers were suspended, according to event officials.
At least six riders suffered serious injuries, forcing several to drop out of the race.
The man, who was left bloodied and bruised, was also treated for his injuries before being led away by police.
— With files from the Associated Press