Irish cyclist Matt Brammeier is in stable condition after colliding with a service car during Stage 6 of the Tour of Utah on Saturday.
The accident occurred on a hairpin turn in the downhill section of Guardsman's Pass. Brammeier entered the sharp bend at an inexplicable clip, blasting headlong into the near-180-degree bend and slamming into the back left haunch of a white Porsche support car.
It's a horrifying sequence, really. And the misfortune of the moment was compounded further when motorists began stopping in the middle of the turn, causing two less dire—but undoubtedly painful—wrecks for riders who would've otherwise navigated the angle without issue.
Warning: Video contains disturbing collisions.
Despite rib, sacral and pelvic fractures and a small pneumothorax (air leakage between lungs and chest wall)—injuries Brammeier suffered, per CyclingNews.com—things could have been worse. He likely won't require surgery.
Brammeier tweeted a picture of himself in his hospital bed wearing a neck brace. He appreciates all the support he's received since the wreck.
Ironically, smashing into that car might've been the best thing that could've happened to him in this instance.
He came into the turn at speeds that would suggest one of either two very bad things: one or both of his brake sets had failed, or he completely misjudged the turn (a common danger for international pros descending unfamiliar roads).
Without the support car there, Brammeier would have gone off the road and over the edge, seeing as there are no guardrails or barriers or even a lone, token bale of hay set up on this extreme, downhill hairpin turn.
If there's a huge drop off that corner, he could've been toast—or in much graver trouble than a fractured pelvis.
So let this be a reminder to everyone: Descending isn't where you win races, but it's certainly where you can lose a season or even a life. Don't be a hero on the downhill.
As for race workers: Don't stop your motorcycle in the elbow of a turn when there are scores of racers on the course. Do your part to help by getting the hell out of the way.
Dan is on Twitter. If you value your bones and/or skin, don't race bikes, guys.