Eye-Q California Classic cyclist critically hurt

FRESNO, Calif.

It's not clear how the wreck happened, but the CHP says it was a single cycle accident. It happened Saturday just after noon, on Kings Canyon Road near Hills Valley... east of Minkler.

Hospital officials tell Action News she's listed in critical condition. Cyclists I talked with say there were several accidents along their 100 mile ride.

Just after noon Saturday, a medical helicopter lands at CRMC. A cyclist in her late 20's is being rushed to the hospital after crashing her bicycle. She was roughly half way through with a 100 mile bike ride when she crashed.

Tammy Rother said, "We passed by about four or five."

Tammy Rother and her friend Elizabeth Storey both came to the Valley from Long Beach to ride in the Fresno Classic Century. The pair tells me they rode right by the accident that critically injured the female cyclist.

Elizabeth Storey said, "They responded very quickly, they were really on any of the incidents we saw."

The 100 mile ride is just one event in the Eye-Q California Classic Weekend. This ride took cyclists from Downtown Fresno, along the 168 Freeway, through Squaw Valley, where the accident happened, and back to downtown.

"No matter how seasoned you are I think you run into issues here and there, the roads are never perfect," said Storey. "The riders around you, you don't know well enough to move."

Organizers of the race say the only portion of the ride was that closed off to drivers was along the 10 mile stretch of freeway. But there were dozens of police escorts helping the cyclists move safely through surface streets, which were not closed to traffic.

The cyclists I talked with say they don't believe this was a dangerous ride. But they say anything can happen when you're covering 100 miles along with dozens of other cyclists.

That 100 mile bike ride was just one part of the Inaugural Eye-Q California Classic.

It's the first of its kind event in Fresno. There were several other shorter bike races throughout the city, and they all began at Chukchansi Park.

About 15-hundred riders were expected to turn out for the various races. Riders say big events like this are a great stress reliever

"Get a weeks worth of work and frustration out from under you," said Joshua Polk. "It's definitely a lifestyle, it's something that you kind of get addicted to a little bit."

Eye-Q's California Classic Weekend continues Sunday - with a half marathon.

That means more road closures in Downtown Fresno, around the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, and in the tower district.

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