Massive Crash in Tour of the Gila

80 cyclists involved; dozens of injuries

No pileups here—a shot from the fourth stage of the 2007 Tour of the Gila.     Photo: Avelino Maestas/Flickr

A huge pileup took out more than half of the cyclists competing in New Mexico's Tour of the Gila Wednesday afternoon. About 13 riders were taken to a local hospital, and two had to be airlifted to a hospital in Tucson, Arizona. 

The cyclists, more than half of them in the men's professional division, had been racing 92 miles from Silver City to Mogollon as part of the tour's first stage. Cyclist Michael Dziedzic said that a crosswind made a tightly packed group swerve as they were heading downhill. 

"Next thing you know, it's just the sound of broken wheels and frames," he told the Albuquerque Journal. "All the mechanics were screaming for medics."

It didn't help that this occurred on a descent, leaving riders little room to avoid the pileup. 

"This was the most devastating crash I have ever seen," cyclist Kirk Carlsen told a Tour of the Gila correspondent.

Three riders for Jamis-Hagens Berman, led by Daniel Jaramillo, managed to avoid the crash and sweep the podium. Race spokesperson Rebecca Reza said Wednesday night that 14 riders won't be racing on Thursday, but added that none had serious injuries. 

Cyclist Michael Creed filmed the aftermath of the crash:

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