December 08, 2013 (Aguascalientes, Mexico) – Canadian track rider Hugo Barrette escaped major injury on Saturday in the Keirin event at the Track World Cup in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Barrette and three other riders were caught up in a crash caused by Mexican Edgar Ismael Verdugo; of the seven competitors, only Dutchman Matthijs Buchli and Japanese rider Kazunari Watanabe finished the race. Barrette injured his right forearm, which is now in a cast, and he will have more X-rays once he returns to Canada.
“It was a stupid move that would not even have allowed the Mexican to finish second,” related Barrette, referring to Verdugo’s manoeuvre in the last 100 metres of the race. “I was in front, certain to qualify for the semi-finals for the first round of the World Cup. For me, it is a huge disappointment. It was my biggest race of the year; it was my event and I was in great shape. Everything was perfect. But with a little move of a wheel, everything changed.”
“Someone touched my wheel and I crashed. I almost flew over the railing as another guy in the group did; he is now in a coma. When you fall, you go down hard. We were riding at 80 km/h when the incident occurred. So under the circumstances, I consider myself lucky,” he noted.
“In the next race, the guys were nervous and there was another big fall. In two waves of qualification, we lost a lot of very good cyclists. The best riders all fell. The races that followed have been easier, but I try not to think too much about it. At least I’m in one piece,” reflected Barrette.
The second stage of the UCI Track World Cup took place from Dec. 5-7 in Aguascalientes, Mexico; the third stage is scheduled for Jan. 17-19 in Guadalajara (also in Mexico) while the Track World Championships are scheduled for Feb. 26-Mar. 2 in Cali, Colombia.