Laurine Van Riessen of the Netherlands took to the trackside advertising hoardings in the Rio Olympic velodrome to avoid a high-speed crash during the first round of the women’s keirin that ended several riders’ chances but ended without serious injury.
Van Riessen was riding in the second heat of the women’s keirin. The sprint was about to open up when an apparent touch of wheels sent French rider Virginie Cueff off to the right and up the banking. She pushed Van Riessen upwards as they both tried to stay on their bikes, as Tania Calvo of Spain and Olivia Podmore of New Zealand crashed behind them in the chaos.
Van Riessen ran out of space on the track as Cueff moved her upwards and so jumped onto the vertical advertising hoardings that surround the track. She somehow managed to avoid going over the edge into the shocked crowd, returned to the track and even stayed upright. Cueff crashed but suffered only minor injuries.
Wai Sze Lee (Hong Kong) and Tianshi Zhong (China) avoided the crash, finishing first and second to qualify for the next round. Although van Riessen missed out on qualifying in her heat, she finished fourth and went through to the repechage, which she won to go through to the second round.
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