Brooks stable after violent crash

Team Type 1's Ben Brooks is hospitalised in stable condition following a violent crash Wednesday during the opening stage of the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic in Bend, Oregon.

The 29 year-old Australian fell victim to one of a half dozen cattle guard crossings along the 83-mile (133.5 km) Prineville road race. A cattle guard is a series of parallel metal bars installed in the road to deter cattle and other hoofed animals from crossing. The gaps between the bars are wide enough for an animal's legs to fall through.

Team Type 1 sport director Ed Beamon said riders who witnessed the crash told him the cattle guard sent Brooks into a spin that catapulted him off his bicycle as the 150-rider field was racing a mostly flat, but twisting, section before a descent about 50 miles (80 km) into the race.

"They had to be going about 60 km/h (37 mph) and it was single-file, full gas at the time," Beamon said. A rescue squad rushed Brooks to a local hospital after finding him unconscious.

"We have a good crew here on the job but it was a bad crash and so he could use some positive thoughts and prayers," said Team Type 1 director Ed Beamon, who accompanied Brooks to the hospital. "Everything is stable and he is getting good care."

Brooks's wife, Rachael, was en route to Bend Wednesday night, Beamon said.

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