Bart Wellens started the Cyclo-cross World Championships with a dream of wearing the rainbow bands, but his hopes were quickly dashed when a camera ATV clipped a plastic barrier, sending it careening into his path early in the race. Wellens crashed hard, and unbeknownst to the Belgian, he fractured his wrist in the fall, and now he wants the organisers of the race to pay.
Wellens gritted out the pain to finish in fourth place, a remarkable feat for most riders with two good arms. "I could no longer lift my bicycle... but with 30,000 men shouting in the stands, you don't give up" he told Het Nieuwsblad.
But obviously, one step off the podium wasn't where Wellens planned to finish. "They have taken a lot away from me today," said Wellens, "a beautiful jersey and a heap pennies also."
He had a clean break in his wrist that did not require surgery, but Wellens will spend four weeks with the arm in plaster, miss seven races worth of start money and prize purses during that time. The Fidea Cycling Team manager, Hans van Kasteren intends to lodge a complaint with the UCI.