Motorcyclist killed and athlete severely injured during Hamburg Ironman

The rider of a motorbike has died following a crash with a competitor in an Ironman European championship race on Sunday, police in the host city of Hamburg said.

Police said there was a head-on crash when a race support motorbike carrying a rider and a passenger collided with a triathlete who was cycling in the opposite direction.

TV footage showed the incident happened on a section of road where competitors were riding in both directions as part of a loop in the course for the cycling section of the race. Motorbikes carrying camera operators were riding down the middle of the road.

Police said in a statement that the 70-year-old motorbike rider died at the scene, a 26-year-old triathlete was treated for severe injuries and a 50-year-old camera operator was treated in hospital for shock. Police were investigating how the crash happened.

“At 36 [kilometers] of the Ironman Hamburg bike course, a motorcycle race vehicle, carrying an official race photographer, was involved in a collision with a race participant,” the event’s organisers said in a statement.

“It is with our deepest regret to confirm the passing of the motorcycle operator from a significant medical event. Our thoughts and care are with the family whom we will support as we are able while they go through this difficult time.”

The race continued but German public broadcaster ARD said it decided to end its live stream as a gesture of respect.