Elite triathlete Cyril Viennot, a podium favourite in the men’s field at Sunday’s ITU Long Distance World Championship in Penticton, B.C., was forced to withdraw from the race because he was hit by a car and suffered injuries during the bike portion of the race. Viennot made a post in French on Sunday after the race.
“Live is sometimes cruel, ” he says in his post, “A swim on the feet of [countryman and strong swimmer] Sylvain Sudrie (a first for me) and then a very strong bike… Then a car crossed the road and hit my rear wheel, sending me onto the tar. End of race, broken wheel. Some road rash and bruises.”
Viennot won the ITU Long Distance World Championship in 2015. He earned silver at the event last year in Oklahoma. He is currently ranked 34th on the Kona Pro Rankings and is expected to toe the start line at the Ironman World Championship this year. He has not yet confirmed that he will race in October, but recently indicated on his Facebook page that he would “be in Kona.”
TMC reached out to the Penticton race organizers for a comment.
In an email correspondence, Holly Bird told us that “We’re cooperating with the RCMP on the investigation into the accident. Obviously we never want an incident like this to occur during an event, and we were distraught to learn of the accident. All traffic management and emergency protocol was followed prior to and during the incident.”
On Sunday, two triathletes were also hit by a car during the Chicago Triathlon in a similar accident where a driver crossed the centre line of the road and into the lane where athletes were riding during the race. Both are in stable condition.