A bicycle race in Southern California last weekend held a death-defying finish for one competitor after a chain-reaction crash sent his bike pinwheeling off a concrete bridge and left him dangling perilously over the edge.
Mike Allec was one of a group of racers sprinting through Saturday’s Santa Barbara County Road Race — an 85-mile, six-lap, uphill climb in the foothills of Santa Maria.
As the riders dueled for position as they the approached finish line, one cyclist suddenly fell, giving the riders behind him no time to react.
Video from a competitor’s rear-facing camera showed Allec colliding with the fallen cyclist’s bike, then Allec and his ride flying over the bridge’s parapet on Santa Maria Mesa Road.
The bike plummeted 30 feet to the dusty creek bottom, but Allec managed to hook his arms over the concrete ledge hang on for dear life.
Other riders who fell suffered broken bones and a punctured lung, according to comments posted below the video.
Allec came out relatively unscathed, he told “Inside Edition.”
“I’ve been in some bike crashes before but never anything that was really life threatening,” Allec said. “When I looked down and saw how far down my bike was I thought ‘That…that would’ve been bad.’”
Allec was part of the Carefast Storck Cycling team. The team addressed the crash on its Facebook page Sunday.
“This weekend at the Santa Barbara Road Race our team rider and manager Mike Allec was involved in a spectacular crash in the final sprint that left him hanging off of a bridge above a ravine (30ft below),” the post said. “We are very thankful for the outpouring support from many who were there and more importantly those that helped him off of the bridge.
“Words cannot express the gratitude for him being able to walk away from this with road rash, this could have ended much much worse.”