An investigation is underway to figure out what happened in Australian cyclist Alex Porter’s dramatic crash during the Tokyo Olympics men’s team pursuit qualifying round, caused by his handlebar/stem combination snapping.
Although Porter was riding a bike from Argon 18, the Canadian bike manufacturer has just issued a statement denying responsibility for the carbon handlebars.
Full equipment review
“A full equipment review is in progress by the Australian Cycling Team and we will have more details shortly,” wrote Martin Fauber, Argon 18 VP of product in an Instagram post on the company’s page. “At this time we can confirm it was not an Argon 18 handlebar which experienced this failure.”
The Australian Cycling Team has confirmed it is working to figure out exactly what happened during the race. Swapping in custom bars on track bikes is quite common, and it seems as though the team went with a local company for some 3D-printed components.
Australian 3D-printed titanium specialists Bastion Cycles issued a statement on Tuesday which indicated that they had supplied the handlebar unit.
“The team at Bastion Cycles is working with the Australian Olympic team to understand the cause behind the failure of one of its handlebar units during the four-person, Australian pursuit challenge at the Tokyo Olympics overnight,” a spokesperson said in the statement.
In his Argon 18 post Fauber also spoke about how he was relieved that Porter was not seriously injured. The 25-year-old was lucky to have only minor road rash and passed concussion testing protocols.
“Like all of you, we were devastated to see that Australian rider crash in the men’s team pursuit,” said Fauber. “We are greatly relieved that nobody was injured and applaud the team’s quick return to the track to complete the race.”
After the crash, the Australian team got a second chance to clock a good team pursuit time. The squad, which took silver at the Rio Olympics, finished fifth overall, with a time of 3:48.448.