Ariana Dormitorio crashed in Lap 2 of the five-lap race to bomb out of the medals race in cycling’s women cross-country on Tuesday in the 18th Asian Games.
Dormitorio was ranked first in the 12-rider field but suffered the misfortune and had to recuperate from a left thigh injury at the Medical Tent.
“I’m disappointed,” said Dormitorio, whose No. 100 ranking in the UCI made her the favorite in the race. “Luck was not with me today.”
The 22-year-old was first out of the start line, but being the lone Philippine rider in the race, she was gobbled up by two Chinese – eventual 1-2 finishers Yao Bianwa and Li Hongfeng.
Then came the decisive crash in Lap 2 over the 4.5-km circuit, which PhilCycling MTB Director Boying Rodriguez described as less technical.
Dormitorio underestimated a downhill curve and hurt her left thigh. Doctors suspected her quad muscles were sprained.
Yao, an Asian Games first-timer like Dormitorio, was unrelenting and crossed solo in one hour, 20 minutes, and seven seconds. Li finished more than four minutes later, while Thailand’s Natalie Panyawan (1:26:11) earned bronze.
Yao, who has no UCI ranking, admitted she did not expect to win and acknowledged Dormitorio could have given her a tough fight if not for bad luck.
“The Philippine rider was strong and I am lucky to win,” she said.
Unlike in the downhill races, which Indonesia swept, the hosts didn’t wield the home-court advantage this time after its two riders, Rohidah Rohidad and Noviana Noviana, finished sourly in the event.
Rohidad was eighth, while Noviana was joined by Dormitorio and three others from Nepal, Mongolia and Chinese Taipei.