Alex Porter praised for ‘courageous’ team pursuit ride as investigation starts into bike failure

Cycling Australia has launched an investigation into the bike malfunction that saw Alex Porter crash to the track at 65 kilometres per hour in the men’s team pursuit event at the Tokyo Olympics.

“While the immediate focus is on the success of the Australian Cycling Team across the remainder of the Olympic program, there will be a thorough investigation and review of the factors involved in the incident,” Cycling Australia said.  

Porter was competing along with Kelland O’Brien, Sam Welsford and Leigh Howard in qualifying for the team pursuit when his handlebars snapped going around a bend.

The 25-year-old was thrown forward onto the track, as his teammates signalled to officials and stopped their run.

Porter received cuts and abrasions to his face but was not seriously injured.


He and his teammates were allowed a second run, where they set the fifth-ranked time of 3 minutes 48.448 seconds — they missed out on the gold medal race, but are still in contention for a bronze medal.

“AusCycling’s immediate concern is for the welfare of Alex Porter and his teammates.

Cycling Australia confirmed that the part had not been manufactured by Argon 18, who supply bikes to the Australian team.

The maker of the unit, Bastion Cycles, posted a message on social media acknowledging the incident.

“Our team is working with the Australian Olympic Team to understand the cause behind the failure of one of our handlebar units during the four-person Australian pursuit challenge at the Tokyo Olympics overnight,” a post by Bastion Cycles said.

“Our first concern was for Alex Porter and the entire team. We are in constant contact with the Australian Olympic cycling team and coaches, and give our assurances that we are using all means available to investigate why this occurred.”

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