Cyclist Falls 250 Feet into Ravine, Lives

Cyclist Pedro Horrillo fell 250 feet down a ravine during the eighth stage of the Giro d'Italia. And I mean no baby of a ravine, either. I mean a huge stony divot in the earth people by design aren't meant to survive a fall down, much less one taken at full speed flying over a guardrail during a professional cycling event. ↵
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↵If you can see the video above, you can see that the ravine is so steep rescuers had to strap on climbing harnesses and rappel down to the spot Horrillo eventually settled at after his death-defying fall. ↵Note the lack of past tense here: Horrillo survived a fall that should have by all rights killed him at half that height. The Spanish rider suffered a broken femur, punctured lung, and two broken vertebrae in his back, but was moving his limbs at the hospital and was talking and alert after being taken out of a medically induced coma. ↵

↵Safety has been an issue at this year's Giro: the course has had some galling safety oversights, including the passage of oncoming traffic on the live course, as well as parked cars posing a hazard on a course some riders have described as being far, far too dangerous even by cycling's insane standards. (One rider was clocked at a mind-blowing ↵73 mph on a downhill portion of this year's race.) ↵

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↵Riders protested the conditions by holding back as a group during the ninth stage of the race, joining the previously protesting Astana team, who were already on the march over their lack of payment from their team and rode with sponsors' names blocked out on their jerseys. ↵

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↵This protest may fly in the world of cycling, but I'm pretty sure it's North Carolina law that doing this in NASCAR is legal grounds for activating the ejection seat all NASCAR drivers ride in and replacing the driver with someone else after autopiloting the car back into the pits. (It's only a matter of time before this happens to Tony Stewart.) ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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