Crash Negates Canadian Triathlete's Medal Hopes

Canadian triathlete Christine Ridenour learned a valuable lesson after crashing in the final lap of cycling at the women’s triathlon on Sunday: when up front, stay up front.

Ridenour, tipped as a favourite for a medal in the event at the Youth Olympic Games, was organizing the lead pack when anxious riders knocked her and several others out on a corner.

“It’s dangerous out there,” said the 18-year-old winner of the Coteau du Lac triathlon. “There were some sketchy riders. I’m not interested in blaming anyone but I’ve learned a lesson today. I will stay right up front.”

The British Columbian was first out of the water after the swimming leg and took the initiative in the cycling, trying to communicate with other riders to streamline their positions.

“It’s hard to get the girls organized. I stayed in the first five or six riders. Sometimes we were four across, bunching up.

“It was a bad judgment call on my part. I tried to get us organized and dropped back so I was in line with the girls when they crashed.”

After bumping off the side of the road and hitting a tree, Ridenour untangled her bike chain to finish 14th in 1hr 04mins 7.56secs, more than three minutes behind the winner, Yuka Sato of Japan.

“When I was getting my bike up the second pack went by. They were about a minute-and-a-half behind. I’d worked hard to get the lead on them,” she said.

“I took a good look at myself and I was badly injured, but I was really determined to finish the race.”

Ridenour suffered grazes to her right shoulder blade and right arm but said she never thought of quitting.

“When I crashed I thought, ‘OK, this is another challenge I have to face today.’ I’ve never not finished a race,” she said.