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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

Newsflash for May 4, 2003

Bootes crashes in keirin, ruins MTB season

Photo © Mark Gunter
Click for larger image

Wade Bootes' MTB season is in disarray after he sustained a suspected broken collarbone from a crash during a qualifying heat of the keirin at the Australian Track Cycling Championships in Sydney on Sunday, May 4.

Bootes is one of the world's leading BMX, MTB downhill and four-cross (4X) riders who had just started track racing after testing showed he had the potential to also excel on the boards.

During the heat Bootes was closely following 2001 world keirin champion Ryan Bayley as the riders wound it up on the bell lap. In the final corner Bayley swung up the track and clipped Bootes' front wheel, sending the Queenslander onto the track at top speed, with NSW rider Sean Dwight coming down on top of him.

"I think it was the fact that he (Bayley) turned right when we were going left ... that's what took me by surprise," Bootes said. "You don't get that so much in mountain biking." After the crash, "Ryan said to me 'don't follow too closely in a keirin'", Bootes said, "but Ryan's wheel was the one to get on."

“I lost a few spokes when I came too close and hit Ryan’s pedal and then I was overlapping his back wheel when he swung up and took out my front wheel,” said Bootes. It's expected that Bootes should recover in time for both the BMX World Championships in Perth in July and the Mountain Bike World Championships in September in Switzerland. However, he will miss the World Cup events which will impact on his world ranking.

It was Bootes' first keirin heat in serious competition - his previous keirins were demonstration events where the winner was decided prior to the race - and he came in for some attention from South Australian rider Gavin White as they jostled to secure the wheel of Bayley, who was following Damien Kierl. The heat was eventually won by Bayley, with Kierl in second place.

The previous evening, Bootes secured a gold medal for Queensland in his first national track championships in the team sprint. The following day, it was disaster. The injury has thrown his MTB and BMX season into disarray.

"It will be six weeks until I can hang on to the bike properly. This has basically blown my MTB season. I can look to the MTB worlds, but right now it's not looking too good."

Bootes held his left arm gingerly as St John's Ambulance officers attended to his left side. "It's a little different crashing on the track. In MTB you tend to tumble and roll. Here, it's big slide." Apart from a suspected broken collarbone, Bootes also left a lot of skin on the track.

Bootes last broke a collarbone during downhill practice in 1994; his right side. Despite the physical and dangerous nature of BMX and 4X, it was his first serious keirin heat which did more damage.


Images by Tom Balks/ unless indicated

Men Keirin Heats

Images by Mark Gunter/

Images by Tom Balks/

  • Hold the phone! Rochelle Gilmore (NSW) holds the phone for her injured boyfriend Wade Bootes (Qld) while he breaks the bad news.

(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2003)