Kate Courtney Crashes Hard at UCI Mountain Bike World Championships

kate courtney racing during the 2020 world championships

Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool

  • Kate Courtney crashed at the 2020 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, and after resuming her race, she withdrew because of concussion symptoms.
  • The course was wet and muddy for much of the championships, creating challenging conditions for the riders.

    Pro mountain biker Kate Courtney, 24, crashed during the women’s elite cross country race on Saturday at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Leogang, Austria, forcing her to withdraw.

    The course conditions were wet and muddy for most of the seven-day competition, which proved challenging at times for many of the riders.

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    Courtney had a strong start to the race and was riding within the top ten, but she experienced a mechanical problem during the first full race lap prior to crashing, according to USA Cycling. The mechanical cost her roughly a minute of time and set her back to 19th place.

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    Regardless of the mechanical, Courtney said she ultimately decided to pull out of the race after realizing she may have suffered a concussion during the crash that happened after.

    “That was a tough one. Crashed in a high-speed, non-technical section of the course and hit the deck hard,” Courtney wrote in an Instagram post yesterday. “Tried to continue but once the adrenaline wore off, signs of a concussion set in.”

    TIP: Symptoms of a concussion can include a headache, brain fog, nausea, unsteadiness, drowsiness, irritability, slower reaction times, severe mood swings, and loss of consciousness.

    Concussions are common injuries for amateur and professional cyclists alike. Even mild concussions should be taken seriously and evaluated by a specialist as soon as possible. Research has shown that the earlier you treat a concussion, the better the outcome and the sooner you can recover.

    “Only the third DNF of my racing career but an easy decision to protect my brain,” Courtney said.

    Courtney was the elite women’s world champion in cross country mountain biking in 2018 and the 2019 World Cup champion. Leading up to Worlds this year, Courtney has also been training for the Tokyo Olympics; she was a quick pick for the U.S. Olympic team and the first mountain biker to secure a spot.

    American Erin Huck secured the fastest time for the U.S. team in the women’s elite cross country race, finishing in 16th place.

    In the end, riders in the Under-23 category had some of the best results for the U.S. team at the world championships: Christopher Blevins won a silver medal in the U23 men’s race and Haley Batten placed fourth in the U23 women’s race. American Ella Erickson also placed fifth on Sunday in the junior women’s downhill race.

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