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What was the tragic accident that took Nicole Reinhart???(5 posts)

What was the tragic accident that took Nicole Reinhart???eschelon
Feb 13, 2003 1:09 PM
I was reading about this Saturn cycling team racer who was about to win the $250K BMC race and was "take away tragically"....what was the scoop on how she died?

Anyone? Anyone? Bah-lair?
Here's the link to the story from the GlobeKristin
Feb 13, 2003 1:17 PM

I remember people posting about it the day she died. What I can remember is that she went off course and struck a tree near the end of the race and died later during surgery.
She was a very nice person, and a great racerGregory Taylor
Feb 13, 2003 1:31 PM
My son and I had the honor of meeting her (and getting an autograph!) at the Clarendon Cup a couple of years ago. She had won the women's event, and was signing autographs at the Saturn tent. What was really wonderful was that she made quite a fuss over my young son, who had just taken part in the kid's race, and was proudly wearing his medal. No sullen athlete mechanically signing autographs -- she was genuinely nice. I was incredibly sad when I heard that she had been killed. The poster that she autographed at the Clarendon Cup is one of my most treasured bike possessions.
re: What was the tragic accident that took Nicole Reinhart???carbonxs
Feb 13, 2003 3:50 PM
I was at the race and live a couple of blocks from where it happened. Twelve laps (I think) of a 3.5 mph course for the women.

The course had a steep straight fast descent which ended (the descent) with a 90 degree turn. This is where I saw Nicole crash the first time (not the fatal crash) on an early lap. She wasn't alone in crashing at this point - there were a few laps that had riders crash here. Most, if not all, of the crashes started with someone bursting a tire (you could hear a pop) - probably from slamming on the brakes to slow down in time. At least one other rider got taken away in an ambulance and there were a lot of scrapes and damaged bikes. Another rider came extremely close to getting creamed as the ambulance pulled up in a dumb part on the course to help a different rider.

If Nicole won this race she'd get a $100,000 bonus from the sponsors so she had every incentive to bust her ass to catch up. Her team helped her eventually catch up to the pack.

There was a big pack and after the turn as mentioned above, everyone moved on over to the left to take the next 90 degree right hand turn at speed - probably 40mph or so.

Street was lined with trees and road had curbs. I think she probably hit a road depression that's there in the form of a storm drain which, along with the fast speeds and the jockeying for position, was probably just enough to throw her off just a bit. Unfortunately she hit the curb or caught a pedal and slammed into a tree headfirst. She may have been declared dead at the hospital but she was probably dead before she hit the ground.

I get bummed every time I round by there.

There's a foundation in Nicole's memory called for those who wish to donate.
re: What was the tragic accident that took Nicole Reinhart???Alpedhuez55
Feb 14, 2003 5:59 AM
I was there too. I was at the finish and we they were saying she was in the front on the lat lap. It was such a sad day. I guess it was a depression in the road or a small pot hole that made her lose control of the bike. It just was a situation where a tree was in a bad place. If she missed the tree she still would have been hurt but would probably be alive and racing today.

I think it was a $500,000 bonus she would have collected since she had won the other races in the series. It was what could have been such a happy event turned into such a tragic day. I will never forget that.

Mike Y.