Rotorua triathlete in hospital after fall from bike

By Alison King

He's broken bones and been in an ambulance before, but nothing compares to the pain of skidding off your bike at 65km/h.

Rotorua triathlete Hugh Bootten, 20, is counting his lucky stars that his slide along the Longmile Rd tarseal was interrupted with a roll. He came within a whisker of needing a skin graft on his bottom as a memento of the inaugural Redwoods Coast event.

The event - a non-pedalling race from Nursery Rd to the Redwoods Visitor Centre - was held on Monday as a fundraiser for the Rotorua Mountain Bike Club trail infrastructure fund.

It featured in the Rotorua Bike Festival programme.

"Next year I'll happily just make a donation and watch," Bootten said. He was taken by ambulance to Rotorua Hospital and last night spent his second night on a ward.

He has deep grazes to his hands, shoulders, back, bottom and a leg.

"I don't remember [the fall] but I've seen photos of it. Another rider has come around me and lost his balance. He's swerved into me and put his foot into my wheel and that's taken me down."

He said his speed at the time was 65km/h.

"I've broken a few bones before and this is far sorer than that. Luckily there were two doctors there and they got me some pain relief and stabilised me before the ambulance arrived.

"The damage is just short of needing a skin graft and that's because I rolled. I was only wearing a skinsuit and helmet - they cut what was left of the skinsuit off me - there's a few decent holes.

"It was a great event and a good idea but I didn't quite execute it as I intended - but there's not a lot you can do in that situation."

Bootten last week won the New Zealand Sprint Triathlon title in the 20-24 age group at Kinloch and was entered into the New Zealand Olympic Distance Championships next month in Wellington - but will be unable to race for at least a couple of months.

Event organiser Dave Donaldson said Bootten's fall was the only high-speed crash among about 100 riders.


- Rotorua Daily Post

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 27 May 2017 09:40:20 Processing Time: 868ms