Justin Setterfield/Getty Images
Frederik Madsen of Team Denmark and Charlie Tanfield of Team Great Britain on the ground after the fall.
The Izu Velodrome witnessed a heated confrontation on Tuesday as Denmark and Great Britain track cyclists collided during the final lap of the men’s team pursuit at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Frederik Madsen, front rider with the Danish team, collided with Team GB’s Charlie Tanfield, who had replaced Ed Clancy for the race.
Three-time Olympic champion Clancy withdrew from the race earlier in the day, announcing his retirement from track cycling following a back injury.
Madsen was leading the Danish team and looking down at the black tape on the track, instead of up, and didn’t realize Tanfield had dropped off the back of the British group.
Madsen was then pictured standing over Tanfield and heard swearing at him, despite being the one responsible for the crash, before storming off the track.
It was the second crash of the day that Team GB were involved in, with Katie Archibald and Neah Evans colliding after they came together to celebrate their world record ride to reach the women’s team pursuit final.
The collision with Denmark marked a dramatic third day for cycling track medal events.
The Danish team were already the center of some controversy, with teams including Great Britain unhappy with the shin tape and undervests worn by the team.
Despite the crash, Denmark advanced to the final, where they will face Italy on Wednesday.
The result marks the latest shift in power from Team GB to Denmark in the men’s team pursuit.
Team GB won the event at the Rio 2016 Olympics, setting a world record of 3:50.265 in the process.
The victory was part of a hugely successful games, which saw them leave Rio with six gold medals, four silver medals, and one bronze medal.
However, the Danish men’s pursuit team set a new world record of 3:44.672 in February 2020, and then finished top of the pack in qualifying in Tokyo on Monday with a new Olympic record of 3:45.014.
Dan Bigham, an aerodynamics expert who used to ride for the Team GB but now works with Danish cyclists, told Reuters that he expects new world records to be set in Tokyo.
“I expect it will go in men’s and women’s,” said Bigham.