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Women, older age, faster cycling speed and increased wind speeds are independent risk factors for acute injury-related medical encounters during a 109 km mass community-based participation cycling event: a 3-year study in 102251 race starters—SAFER XII


Background There are limited data on acute injury-related medical encounters (injuries) in endurance cycling events.

Objective To determine the risk factors for injuries during a mass community-based endurance cycling event.

Design Retrospective, cross-sectional study.

Setting Cape Town Cycle Tour (109 km), South Africa.

Participants 102 251 race starters.

Methods All injuries for 3 years were recorded by race medical doctors and nurses. Injuries were grouped into main anatomical area of injury, and a Poisson regression model was used to determine the risk factors associated with injuries.

Results The four injury risk factors associated with all injuries during an endurance cycling event were sex (women vs men, p<0.0001), older age (p=0.0005), faster cycling speed (p<0.0001) and higher average individualised Wind Speed (aiWindSpeed, p<0.0001). The only risk factor for serious/life-threatening injuries was women (p=0.0413). For specific main anatomical areas: head/neck (women), upper limb (women, older age, faster cyclists), trunk (women, higher aiWindSpeed), and lower limb (higher aiWindSpeed).

Conclusion Women, older age, faster cycling speed and higher aiWindSpeed were all risk factors for acute injuries during a mass community-based endurance cycling event. These risk factors should help inform race organisers and medical teams on race day to ensure the best medical care is given, and effective acute injury prevention programmes are disseminated.

  • bicycle
  • risk factor research
  • epidemiology
  • multiple injury

Data availability statement

No data are available.

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