By Hedwig Kröner and Nick Warren in Salzburg
Canada's Brandon Crichton was having a good time at the U23 world championship road race on Saturday, until a race commissaire's car took him to the ground on the last lap of the challenging course. Near the back of the bunch at the time the incident happened, Crichton was tackling the last narrow climb on its steepest part as he collided with the car, which was driving on his left.
"He decided to pass me on the hill - that was so stupid!" Crichton told Cyclingnews at the finish. "That was definitely the wrong moment to do that. For a UCI commissaire to be driving like that is ridiculous."
The Canadian was given a neutral replacement bike to finish the race, as his bike was more or less wrecked. "It broke both of my carbon wheels and my crank," he said, explaining that his race didn't go too bad up to that point.
"It was just starting to split in the climb, and I was feeling good," he continued. "In the descent, it would have come all back together, so I wasn't worried." But Crichton had to bury his hopes for a good result, coming into the finish nine minutes in arrears.
Team director Kris Westwood later assessed the damage: "Both of Brandon's wheel rims and his SRM cranks are snapped. It was definitely an expensive little incident," he said, adding that he would be "looking into" compensation.