BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – An accident on Sunday afternoon has left a former Olympic bicyclist seriously injured in Boulder County.
According to Cpl. Heather Cobler, Dale Stetina, 57, was cycling in Lefthand Canyon with a group heading eastbound when an SUV heading westbound crossed the center line all the way to the eastbound shoulder. The driver then corrected just as the group of cyclists was coming around a slight corner.
None of the cyclists collided with the SUV but Stetina lost control and went over his handlebars after swerving and braking hard.
Stetina was wearing a helmet but sustained life-threatening injuries and was airlifted to Boulder Community Hospital. He’s reported to be in critical condition.
The driver of the SUV remained at the scene. His name hasn’t been released.
The Boulder Daily Camera reported that according to 303cycling.com, Stetina is a two-time winner of Colorado’s Coors Classic and father of Boulder pro cyclist Peter Stetina.
Dale Stetina has won more than 200 domestic and international bike races during his career.
CBS4’s Karen Morfitt spoke with Dale Stetina’s brother who was with him at the hospital. He said his brother is one of the best technical riders he knows and if something could happen to him it could happen to anyone.
Stretches in Lefthand Canyon can be dangerous for cyclists.
“It’s very popular, so there’s a lot of bike traffic and automobile traffic,” competitive cyclist Steve Porsborg said.
Porsborg says sometimes the difference in pace between the two can cause serious problems — and serious accidents.
“There is a degree of animosity between certain riders and automobiles, automobile drivers, and you can feel it when you are out there,” Porsborg said.
It’s not clear if there was any malice involved in the incident, but it doesn’t appear that way. So far the driver of the SUV hasn’t been cited.
“Dale is a bit of a fixture in the bicycle community, and so I think it affects a lot of people,” Porsborg said.