Kiwi cyclist Olivia Podmore was lucky to escape a serious injury at the Rio Olympics velodrome today.

Podmore was caught up in a spectacular crash during the sprint stage of the first qualifying stage for the Keirin event.

The New Zealander went crashing to the velodrome floor in a nasty spill with Tania Calvo of Spain and France's Virginie Cueff.

Bikes and bodies went in all directions with a Dutch rider somehow managing to avoid a smash by cycling on the venue perilously close to watching spectators.


The crash happened when Calvo went for an audacious overtake but had to swerve to avoid other bikes. She lost control on the bend and went careering from her bike, falling hard onto the track which needed fixing afterwards.

Podmore was at the rear of the field at the time and was unlucky to be caught up in the mess.

Laurine Van Riessen, riding for the Netherlands, showed incredible control to keep her bike steady and rode up and over the advertising hoardings to stay upright. But in doing so, she sent Cueff off balance and the French competitor was thrown from the saddle.

Podmore fell on her shoulder, tearing her race kit. Perhaps not surprisingly a rattled Podmore raced below her best in her repechage heat and finished fifth to be eliminated from the event.