June 17, 2021

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American cyclist Kiel Reijinen runs 18 miles after losing wheel on bike during Unbound Gravel race

2 min read
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Trek-Segafredo cyclist Kiel Reijinen found himself at quite a disadvantage during the Unbound Gravel race in Kansas on Saturday. During the event, Reijinen wheel broke after the rim was hit by rock. So, Reijinen ended up walking 18 miles barefoot following the mishap as a result, according to Cycling Weekly.

“Hi my name is Kiel Reijnen and I made some bad choices today,” the 35-year-old cyclist said in an Instagram video. “I had some bad luck in a small, technical section and caught the rim on a rock and in retrospect, I think more spacing and backing off a little bit and just really picking your own line is important in this race. And the terrain is just unforgiving, call it a bad line, call it bad luck.

“I broke my wheel, kilometre 46, so not very far into the race. I was in the front group, although the front group was still pretty large at that point. I tried to repair the rim as best I could, I made a splint for it and wrapped that up. That lasted for about a kilometre and a half but turns out that was pretty trash so then I started running. Barefoot.”

The only way Reijinen would’ve been able to fix his bike mid-race is if he saw another rider that was out of the race that wanted to loan him a wheel. That never happened.

“I started running in the hope that maybe along the way I would run into someone who’d had a different mechanical issue and I could borrow their wheel until the feed zone and change wheels there,” Reijnen added. “It definitely wasn’t an option to have the team van come back and swap wheels with me, that’s against the rules.”

Reijinen was going to attempt to walk even further than 18 miles, but eventually realized that he didn’t have enough water for how long he’d be competing. That’s when the American cyclist was forced to quit race.

“I’m incredibly disappointed with how the day went, I tried to give it my all,” Reijinen said.

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