HAMBURG, Germany — A motorcyclist died and a triathlete cyclist was severely injured on Sunday when they collided during the Ironman European championship in Germany.
The 70-year-old rider, who was carrying a 50-year-old camera operator at the event in Hamburg, crashed head-on with the cyclist, ESPN reported. The 26-year-old cyclist was traveling in the opposite direction at a narrow part of the race, where the road was being shared by competitors and motorcyclists, according to The Associated Press.
“A closure of the race track was unavoidable in the area of the accident,” the Hamburg Police Department said in a statement. “The athletes had to get off in front of the accident site and cross over to the dike. Towards the direction of the city center, the racetrack was briefly diverted.”
The accident occurred during live coverage of the race, Reuters reported. Germany’s ARD broadcaster interrupted the broadcast after the crash, according to the news outlet.
The collision occurred approximately 22 miles into the race that was part of a loop for the cycling portion of the race, The Washington Post reported. Motorcycles carrying camera operators were riding down the middle of the road and cyclists were traveling in both directions, according to the newspaper.
Police said the motorcyclist died at the scene, ESPN reported. The triathlete suffered severe injuries while the camera operator suffered from shock and was hospitalized for treatment.
“We are devastated by this tragic accident,” the Ironman Group said in a statement. “On a day meant to be a celebration of the human spirit, we instead mourn the loss of a member of our triathlon community.”
The race continued, but ARD said it decided to end its broadcast out of respect for the victims, the AP reported.