October 16th, 2012
Mountain bike riders taking part in stage 1 of the Cape Pioneer Trek had to end their race early due to a surprise attack by a swarm of bees.
Several mid-pack riders were met by a the swarm approximately 60km in to the 103km stage.
A total of 30 competitors were badly stung and treated at the scene and nine were rushed to hospital for treatment at the Medi Clinic in Oudtshoorn.
Event organisers confirmed that the majority of the hospitalised riders were released on Monday and would be able to continue with the race.
“We have adjusted the rules to accommodate the injured riders. All riders who are fit for riding may continue the race with no penalties. The medics were on the scene within two minutes of us calling them. We’d like to thank them for their fast and efficient handling of this very unusual matter,” said Carel Herholdt, a key organiser of the event.
Riders involved in the incident said they were amazed at the speed that medical staff responde.d
Henk Meyer, one of the riders stung by the bees said: “I was treated on the scene with over 100 stings removed from me. Some riders were allergic and not so lucky to continue with their race. But the AMS chopper was on the scene in no time and airlifted the victims to safety. I have a lot of faith in the ability of the organisers.”