Six professional cyclists were injured on Sunday as they were sprinting towards the finishing line after a bystander decided to jaywalk and try to cross the road in the middle of the Tour of Qinghai Lake 2016 race.
The incident occurred during the last minutes of stage one of the race, according to Bai Shide, the tour’s head of security and deputy director-general of Qinghai province’s Department of Public Security.
The cyclists began sprinting as a group during the last lap of the six-lap circuit race in Xining, capital of northwest China’s Qinghai Province, when a bystander walked directly in front of them. In less than a second he was hit by the pack, leading to a pileup of bikes.
“[Well] a lot of riders were involved in that crash, because it was in the last two kilometers; speed was very high, and nobody expected that guy to cross the road. So those kind of things are not supposed to happen in cycling races,” said Marko Kump, road racing cyclist currently riding for Lampre – Merida, an Italian road bicycle racing team.
According to initial investigations, the race’s security department is being blamed for the incident. A number of officials and police officers responsible have been suspended, according to the event’s official micro-blogging account.
The injured athletes, along with the 19-year-old suspect jaywalker, surnamed Mi, are receiving treatment. Eyewitnesses suggested that the man might have a mental illness, according to a report by Legal Evening News.
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