By Paul Verkuylen
The first day of the two day track carnival in Devonport was marred by two dramatic crashes that have left four riders hospitalized, one in serious condition.
The first crash of the day was during the running of the final of the women's lightening handicap. As the field rounded the first bend on the final lap, yesterday's wheelrace winner in Launceston Sarah Cure was making a move around the outside of the field when the gap she was riding through suddenly closed and she found herself with nowhere to go but into the rider ahead of her. Three riders came down in the fall with Cure and Melissa Hoskins being transported to hospital for further examination. The other rider involved Jessica Allen was able to walk away from the crash with minor injuries.
Unfortunately this crash was not to be the last of the day as during the final lap of men's C grade scratch race as the field was sprinting around the final bend, five riders went down.
Shamus Liptrot was the most seriously injured as he careered over the fence. Liptrot was treated for his injuries by ambulance personnel at the scene before being taken to the Bernie Hospital where he is in a critical condition in the intensive care ward. It is not yet known the extent of his injuries; however he is awaiting transport to another hospital, possibly Hobart or Melbourne when his condition improves.
The crash was so bad that two hours worth of racing was removed from the program as ambulance officers attended to those injured. Jason Bellchambers, who struck a light pole with his shoulder was taken to hospital for further treatment, while three other riders were able to walk themselves to the St John's Ambulance aid station close by.
For full coverage of the first day of racing at Devonport Carnival, click here.