13.08.2022, Bayern, München: European Championships, Europameisterschaft, Bahn, Ausscheidungsfahren, Frauen, Messe München. Fahrerinnen liegen nach einem Sturz auf der Bahn. Foto: Angelika Warmuth/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Also on Tuesday the track cyclists thundered through the oval in the exhibition hall in Munich. One of the most important men for the organization of the competitions within the framework of the European Championships was there again – Sebastian von Lütcken. The carpenter takes care of the maintenance of the railway these days. If there are falls, then the man from Osterholz-Scharmbeck is there. And there is so much to do these days.

Only on Monday did it crash again, so badly that shortly afterwards von Lütcken climbed up the track with the ladder and smoothed out the notches with the grinder. Five drivers collided with each other in the point race of the women’s four-way competition Omnium. Johanna Kitti Borissza (Hungary), Emily Kay (Ireland) and Maike van der Duin (Netherlands) were able to leave the track without any major problems.

But the Greek Argiro Milaki and Hanna Solowej from the Ukraine had to be treated for a very long time. Both track cyclists were taken to the stretcher and taken to the hospital. Nothing was initially known about the severity of the injuries on Tuesday either – unlike Letizia Paternoster. The Italian injured her right collarbone and suffered a concussion in a fall last Saturday.

The track cycling days in Munich are under a bad star. The many falls don’t necessarily have much to do with luck or bad luck, but with the track, which the carpenter Sebastian von Lütcken often has to get back in shape. In the Munich exhibition hall, this is only 200 meters long instead of the usual 250 meters. This increases the centrifugal forces in the curves – and the risk of falling increases accordingly.

The Munich track is one of the few negative examples of these competitions in Munich. The organizers proclaim sustainable games. Large temporary arenas were not built. However, the track in exhibition hall C1 by no means meets the highest standards when it comes to safety.

There is hardly a sport in which more attention should be paid to the safety aspect. The women are traveling at up to 70 km/h, the men are even ten km/h faster at the top. The gears of the wheels are rigid, there are no brakes. And seven meters wide, as in Munich, is not very much to avoid falling people.

Accidents in track cycling are not an exclusive Munich problem. They happen everywhere, as national sprint coach Jan van Eijden wanted to make clear in defense of the organizers on Tuesday. “It’s part of sport, especially cycling. When you go on the track, you have to accept that you can fall,” he said. But even before the competitions in Munich, there had been criticism of the venue. The violent accidents now confirm the fears.

The accidents also overshadow major sport in the exhibition hall. Above all, the exceptional German athlete Emma Hinze is in excellent shape. On Monday, the 24-year-old defeated Mathilde Gros from France in the sprint final. Only a photo at the finish could provide information about the winner, it was so close. After the successes in the team sprint and in the 500-meter time trial, Hinze already had his third gold medal in Munich. The victory on Monday was the most emotionally moving for her, mainly because she had major stomach problems that same day. Hinze decided not to start in the keirin for health reasons.