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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Canadian cyclist Hamilton out of track events after crash in practice

GLASGOW, Scotland - A horrible collision in training will keep Canadian cyclist Nic Hamilton out of the track races at the Commonwealth Games.

The 27-year-old from Victoria suffered a concussion Wednesday when he collided at top speed with a female technical official on the track on the eve of competition.

The crash sent Hamilton and his bike flipping over the official, who was eventually taken away by stretcher after receiving medical attention. Hamilton was disoriented but able to walk off the track.

"He would have been travelling at 55 to 60 kilometres an hour," said Kris Westwood, the high performance manager of Canada's cycling teams and the team leader in Glasgow. "It broke his (bike) frame, and destroyed his helmet. So his helmet did the job it was supposed to do."

Hamilton was coming out of the corner at full speed when he hit the official, who was there to signal that another team was setting up for a standing start.

"Nic came around the banking and just saw her too late and hit her and crashed," Westwood said. "He got a concussion, and he's banged up and bruised."

Canadian officials said the woman is believed to have suffered a concussion and a broken collarbone.

As per concussion protocol, Hamilton will be sidelined for at least seven days, forcing his withdrawal from the track events. Westwood said there is a possibility he could compete in the road events later in the Games.

He said collisions with officials are rare but do happen.

"When you have a mixed training session, you've got all sorts of different people doing different workouts on the track," he said. "It was pretty busy session today and the very last one before competition.

"But it's not something you would expect."

Hamilton was an alternate for the team pursuit but was supposed to compete in the points race on Saturday. He's also entered in the road race.

Hamilton was released from the medical clinic at the athletes village Wednesday afternoon, but Westwood said he wouldn't march in the opening ceremonies later that night. None of the track cyclists planned to march because competition gets under way on Thursday.

Westwood said concussions are common in cycling.

"He's obviously crashed before, that's just part of bike racing. There really isn't a cyclist out there who hasn't had a minor concussion at some point in their career," he said. "This was quite a bad one, but we're encouraged that his symptoms give every indication that he's going to make a reasonably quick recovery.

"Of course, we're equally concerned for the official who was injured, and we hope she makes a speedy recovery as well."

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