A motorcycle rider died after colliding with a cyclist at the Ironman European Championship in Hamburg, Germany, event organizers announced.
According to a statement from Ironman, a credentialled motorcycle collided with a competitor at the 36-kilometer mark of the bike route while traveling on the course in the opposite oncoming lane.
The competitor continues to receive treatment in hospital and an event photographer, who was also riding on the motorcycle, was injured and has since been released from hospital, Ironman said.
“We are devastated by this tragic accident,” the statement released on Sunday said. “On a day meant to be a celebration of the human spirit, we instead mourn the loss of a member of our triathlon community.
“Our sympathies are with all those affected. Our priority always is ensuring the safety of our participants and those involved in the event. A police investigation is ongoing, and we are cooperating with local authorities to understand the events that lead to the accident.”
In a press release, Hamburg police said that the incident occurred at 8:40 a.m. local time on Sunday.
“The motorcyclist (70) died at the scene of the accident, the triathlete (26) was seriously injured and was taken to hospital. The passenger of the motorcyclist, a cameraman (50), suffered a shock and also came to a hospital,” the police press release said.
“In the area of the accident scene, a closure of the race track was unavoidable. Coming from the direction of the city center, the athletes therefore had to dismount in front of the accident site and pass it over the dike. In the direction of the city center, the race course was rerouted for a short time.”
Police also said that the German Red Cross’ crisis intervention team was providing “psychological acute care” to eyewitnesses and first responders as further investigations into the cause of the accident are ongoing.
The race offered athletes the chance to qualify for the men’s world championships in Nice, France, on September 10 and the women’s world championships in Kona, Hawaii, on October 14.
It consisted of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and 26.2-mile run in and around Hamburg. According to Reuters, the event was interrupted after the collision and resumed later on.