British Cycling Federation Press Release 11/6/00
Subject: World Mountain Bike Championships, Sierra Nevada, Spain
Big Crash Halts Alexander Charge
Britain’s Caroline Alexander crashed badly and was taken to hospital during the Elite Women’s race at the World Mountain Bike Championships, in Spain. The race was won for the second year in a row by Spain’s Marga Fullana, ahead of Canada’s Alison Sydor and Italy’s Paola Pezzo.
At the time of her crash, on the third lap of four, 32 year-old Caroline, from Barrow, was riding in a group containing Alison Dunlap (USA), Mary Grigson (Aus) and Jimena Florit (Arg). She hit a rock thrown up by the preceding rider and crashed heavily on the rocky terrain at the side of the course. Although she tried to continue, it soon became apparent she had a nasty flesh wound on her right arm and she was rushed to the Sierra Nevada hospital, little more than a kilometre away.
GB Team Manager Simon Burney accompanied Caroline to the hospital:
”She’s got a very unpleasant injury to her arm. It looks as though a chunk of flesh has been knocked out just below the elbow. Caroline didn’t immediately realise she had hurt her arm and was more concerned about a severe dead-leg she also picked up in the crash. Only when she saw the blood did she notice the injury. Luckily the leg isn’t badly hurt, but the arm needed eighteen stitches. She’s upset and disappointed as she was going well and had paced herself. Some of the other riders blew on the last lap and Caroline might have been able to make an impact. She was in fifth or sixth when she crashed, though being realistic fourth was the best she could have hoped for as the top three were well clear. Fullana was in a class of her own. To win by three and a half minutes is incredible!”
Britain’s other rider, Louise Robinson also crashed out of the race. She too visited hospital for treatment to injuries on both arms and left later with a strapped wrist.
World Mountain Bike Championships, Sierra Nevada, Spain
Elite Women’s Cross-Country
1 Marga Fullana Esp 2 hours 07 minutes 42.00 seconds
2 Alison Sydor Can 2:11:09.00
3 Paola Pezzo Ita 2:11:56.00
4 Barbara Blatter Sui 2:12:05.00
5 Mary Grigson Aus 2:13:42.00
6 Alison Dunlap Usa 2:14:38.00
7 Chrissy Redden Can 2:14:38.00
8 Jimena Florit Arg 2:16:26.00
9 Sophie Villeneuve Fra 2:17:16.00
10 Regina Marunde Ger 2:17:39.00
Philip Ingham, reporting for the British Cycling Federation