Things are getting quite heated, down-under, where the pressure
of vying for Australian Olympic team selection exploded when a cyclist attacked a
teammate. At the last training camp, with five riders chasing four team places, Darryn
Hill rammed teenage contender Ben Kersten, sending the youngster head first on to
the concrete track.
Kersten said he feared he had broken his neck after Hill chased him round the velodrome
at 30kmh and slammed him off his bike at the camp in the US.
The pain of his injuries was compounded yesterday when Kersten learned he had not
made the Olympic team, while Hill, 26, was selected.
Cycling Australia moved quickly after Saturday’s incident, yesterday fining Hill
$4000, barring him from training with the Cyclones and putting him on a 12-month
good behavior bond.
Kersten, 19, who needed hospital treatment in Colorado Springs, is believed to be
considering assault charges against Hill.
"I can’t believe they still picked the guy after he’s done this," the national
kilometre champion said. "It’s not fair. How can the team condone something
like this? "I was totally vulnerable out there. He came up behind me and he’s
a big boy. "The thing is that he ignored the people who wound him up and decided
to pick on the youngest guy in the team."
Kersten’s helmet was split in two by the impact of the collision. He was diagnosed
with muscular injuries to his neck and lost skin off his elbows, hips and knees.
It wasn’t the first time that Hill has been in trouble. The attack followed a verbal
exchange between several senior riders and Hill, who was fined $6000 in December
after being found guilty of assaulting two men in 1995.
Report from Herald