Kate Courtney Suffers a High-Speed Crash at MTB World Champs
Photo credit: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool
Kate Courtney crashed at the 2020 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships and retired after resuming her race due to concussion symptoms.
The track was wet and muddy for much of the championships, which created challenging conditions for the drivers.
The 24-year-old professional mountain biker Kate Courtney fell on Saturday at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Leogang, Austria in the women's elite cross-country race and had to retire.
Track conditions were wet and muddy for most of the seven-day competition, which at times proved to be challenging for many drivers.
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Courtney had a strong start to the race, finishing in the top ten, but according to USA Cycling, she had a mechanical problem on the first full lap of the race before the crash. The mechanics took her about a minute and brought her back to 19th place.
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Regardless of the mechanics, Courtney said she ultimately decided to drop out of the race after discovering that she might have suffered a concussion during the fall that followed.
“That was a tough question. I crashed on a non-technical high-speed section of the course and hit the deck hard, ”Courtney wrote in an Instagram post yesterday. "I tried to keep going, but when the adrenaline subsided, there were signs of a concussion."
TIP: Symptoms of a concussion can include headache, brain fog, nausea, unsteadiness, drowsiness, irritability, slower reaction times, severe mood changes, and loss of consciousness.
Concussions are common injuries for amateur and professional cyclists. Even mild concussions should be taken seriously and evaluated by a specialist as soon as possible. Research has shown that the sooner you treat a concussion, the better the result and the faster you can recover.
"Only the third DNF of my racing career, but an easy decision to protect my brain," said Courtney.
Courtney was the elite women's world champion in cross country mountain biking in 2018 and the world champion in 2019. Courtney also trained for the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year. She was a quick pick for the U.S. Olympic team and the first female mountain biker to secure a spot.
The American Erin Huck secured the US team the fastest time in the women's elite cross-country race and finished in 16th place.
In the end, riders in the U23 category had some of the best results for the US team at the World Championships: Christopher Blevins won a silver medal in the U23 men's race and Haley Batten came fourth in the U23 women's race. The American Ella Erickson also finished fifth in the junior downhill race on Sunday.
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