Cyclist causes crash after headbutting competitor in race to finish


Nam I am
Sounds weird , I'd like to see the video of , Interesting making it to ESPN


DELAIDE, Australia -- Italian cyclist Elia Rigotto was disqualified from the Tour Down Under on Friday for causing an accident that left Australia's Mathew Hayman with a broken collarbone.

Race officials accused Rigotto of "headbutting" Hayman in a frantic sprint less than 1,000 yards from the finish line. He was disqualified from the race and fined 200 Swiss francs (about $180), although he insisted it was an accident and Hayman accepted his apology.

"It was a severe headbutt, a very serious incident," Tour Down Under chief commissioner Michael Robb told Australian media. "It was one of the worst headbutts I've seen in a very long time."

Race physician Peter Barnes later announced that Hayman had undergone surgery to repair his fractured left collarbone. Surgeons inserted a plate and screws for stabilization, which would help speed his return to racing. Hayman is expected to be back on his bike within a week.

Erik Dekker, manager of Hayman's team, said Hayman also thought the crash was an accident and held no grudges against Rigotto.

"He [Rigotto] said he had his head down and looked up and his head went into Mat's elbow, he didn't mean it," Dekker said. "He asked, 'Please let him know, I didn't mean to do it.' "

The crash was just one of several accidents on Friday's fourth stage of the tour. The stage was won by Germany's Andre Greipel; Australia's Mark Renshaw retained the overall lead.


i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
It looks intentional on first glance but he is looking down and does look back afterwards and why would Hayman accept an apology and his manager call it an accident?


the teste
Nov 22, 2002
No way that was unintentional.

On a side note you know the state of Road Racing isn't good when the stage winner gets a cow.


Turbo Monkey
Mar 6, 2004
The 909
Awesome. Freaking roadies :disgust:

Anyone remember when McEwen did it a few years ago in the Tour? Not a head butt per se, but he was frustrated someone was beating him in the sprint and tried to slow the other guy down with his head. :thumb:


Turbo Monkey
Aug 23, 2002
Roanoke, VA
Headbutting is barely newsworthy in the cycling press. People do it all the time. Giving and taking headbutts is one of the first things we teach riders in our "pack riding skills" clinic at our club.

What's newsworthy is getting Gaggioli'd or Mercer'd.

Sure, sometimes headbutts get a little malicous, but you need to make room somehow.


talks too much
Mar 19, 2002
Claremont, CA
Wow, thanks for the link. I was wondering if he deserved the punishment given, but I think he earned it after seeing that vid
Word. After reading the recap articles when it happened, hearing about how distraught Rigotto seemed to be and how Hayman accepted the apology, I kind of assumed it was just unfortunate.

After seeing the video, though...well, I'm not sure how you can explain that...