Amaury Pierron Suffers Multiple Injuries After a High-Speed Crash at the French National Championships

Aug 25, 2020
by Ed Spratt  

Amaury Pierron will be out of action for a while after a serious crash at last weekends French National Championships that saw him being airlifted to hospital.

The crash happened during Pierron's finals run on a jump in the top fast section of the course and it has resulted in a number of injuries which could see him miss racing for the rest of the season. His crash last weekend follows another incident earlier this month where he crashed in his final runs during the French Cup race at Alpe d'Huez and was quickly taken to hospital for stitches in his hand.

Following the news of Pierron's crash, our photographer on the ground reached out to Thibaut Ruffin, the Commencal Muc-Off team manager who said: "It could have been way worse as the crash happened on that jump in the top fast section, resulting a broken collarbone, dislocated finger, and L2 and L3 transverse apophysis."

At this time we do not have any more information about the severity of Pierron's injuries or when he expects to return but we will update this article if we hear more.

We're wishing Amaury all the best with his recovery and hope to see him back on the bike soon.





74 Comments

  • 180 0
 For anyone wondering (as I was) "transverse apophysis" of L2 and L3 means breaks to the wing-like bones on the right and left side of 2 vertebra in the middle of the spine.

A very nasty injury. All the best to AP and those around him.
  • 15 0
 And "it could have been way worse"!

I shudder to think
  • 63 0
 My heart sank when I read that. I have broken the transverse process of L1, L2, and L5 in 2013. I still suffer from pain. I pray Momo has a good doctor and heals completely. Healing vibes to Amaury x
  • 4 2
 @boozed: watch the course previews to see these high speed jumps. I can't imagine how bad that crash must have been.
  • 4 0
 I have broke one of this and it has a lot of pain but it doesn't affect the main spinal. I was able to ride at about one month. Mine can't compared with that massive crash and his injuries. Wish healing and cycling soon!
  • 6 0
 Adam Cianciarulo broke 8 of these processes racing the tail end of the 2020 SX season, he was back racing a few months later.
  • 2 0
 Broke one too, turned out alright, but the severity can vary a lot. This is one nasty news to come by, damn.
  • 1 0
 @skerby: And podiuming Wink We can work with speed.
  • 3 0
 As these amazing athletes push the limits and suffer the consequences for our entertainment, as well as their own love of the game, I hope their sponsors still will take care of them.

Does anyone know if sponsors help with medical bills, rehab, continued employment within the company even if that is not in an athlete role?
  • 2 0
 Came to post something similar, I wish him the best in this as it won't be easy. Spine injuries suck (speaking from experience).
  • 21 3
 @monsieurgage: brah, he isn't living in the U.S. I'm sure he can cover the $300 his life flight and surgery costed him.
  • 4 0
 @scott-townes: True, France has a good healthcare network with a fairly robust social assistance program. Les gens francais donnent tes opinions maintenant si vous plais. BUUUT it is still a long row to hoe with recover and what if he can't race or race at the same pace? How do sponsors address this? Do they write off the risk with an "I accept the liability and risk assumed within" clause of a contract?

Can anyone in the sport as a athlete or sponsor please give an insiders perspective?
  • 6 0
 @monsieurgage: I'm sure there isn't likely a single answer to this question. The riders are essentially independent contractors who sign individual contracts. There likely isn't any type of standard contract across the industry with each team/sponsor doing it their own way.
  • 9 0
 @boozed: Any injury to the spine, and you can still control your bowels and feel your legs, means it could've been way worse.
  • 3 0
 @monsieurgage: No medical bill il France except if you go in a private hospital, which is never the case in emmergency surgery. For the other parts, I guess he has a contact with at least a fix salary that he will keep anyway.
  • 1 0
 @monsieurgage: I mean it is not just for us. All of these world cup riders are incredibly driven internally to succeed
  • 1 0
 @pasteque51: thanks for the info.
  • 2 0
 @zanda23: totally. These guys can probably only succeed at the level they are at if they have an internal drive and motivation. That being said I would hate for the "stars of the show" to be the ones who do not receive the lions share of the reward and protection in case of damages as they take on the significant amount of risk.
  • 2 0
 I broke my L2 Transverse apophysis, not nearly as bad as a true spinal column injury but a lot of muscles attach to those wings and I can confirm that movement is not comfortable for a while...
  • 3 1
 Note on the xrays where his collar bone. (On Instagram). It broke right at the end of the plate from a previous injury. Nobody will ever know he would have broken it again if the plate had been removed, but the modulus of bone is much different than stainless steel (or titanium for that matter).
Not all hardware needs to be removed, but if you’ve had an injury like this, and ride aggressively, you may want to have it removed.
  • 1 0
 @monsieurgage: He's young, and right at the top. Almost no question that he will come back, so they'd be crazy not to keep him on. Hashtag commencal muckoff on a few instagram hospital posts and business-wise they wont see a difference.
Its the lower level guys, the ones that maybe just make the live stream on thier best weeks. Earning just enough to bum round the world with a DH bike. They're the guys getting cut, and maybe never having enough money to come back.
  • 65 0
 Wish him all the best, I hope it doesn't affect him mentally, the guy is a beast and one of the most exciting riders to watch
  • 43 0
 You don't get light crashes riding the way he does. Always pinned to the absolute limit and unfortunately sometimes beyond it. He's an absolute monster.
  • 52 9
 One minute he's Amaury Pierron, the next he's Amaury Pierroff. In all seriousness though, heal up fast dude, injuries suck.
  • 20 0
 I feel like sometimes these guys try to get back to racing too fast. One injury (hand), a little off, compensate, little differences. Then a bigger crash, injuries.

Maybe nothing to it, but seems like that is how Gwin's year went last year.

If your hand and fingers are not 100% I think there is so much information coming from them, and to them, and they are riding so fast, that little lag due to pain or stiffness matters

Regardless, AP is SO fun to watch. Heal up soon, and take your time.
  • 2 0
 Good insight, I think you may be right
  • 1 0
 No you're absolutely right. Just look at Marc Marquez in MotoGP, dude wanted to enter the very next race after breaking his upper arm (thankfully soon realized it's less than intelligent).

It's a mixture of their extraordinary will and commitment and the economic implications of missing races for them, their teams and sponsors.
I just watched a show thst had other athletes talking about injuries and the bottom line was that they are all willing to sacrifice basically everything to win and the only difference is that some sports are higher consequence than others.
  • 22 0
 Wow, nasty, hope he heals up well and swiftly.
  • 15 0
 A monster on his bike and an absolute gentleman off it I am also wishing Amaury all the best with his recovery and hope to see him back on the bike and winning soon.
  • 10 1
 Trageic news. Sending healing vibes!


Saw his preview run and I do think this is another evidence that track design maybe should revert a little to the old school with lower speeds and more tech?
  • 2 0
 That track was pretty old school though? New school seems to be bike park style at insane speeds.
  • 5 0
 That's exactly what I was thinking. There is nowhere for the good riders to differentiate themselves so they have to push unbelievably hard to gain fractions of a second. Leogang a few years ago seemed to be the most dangerous track on the calendar despite having very little tech but huge speeds. Same goes for many of the really flat out tracks.
  • 11 0
 Ouch !! Hope ya heal soon !!
  • 3 0
 Having seen a few race vids of Amaury riding, he's insanely fast - I can't believe what I'm seeing when I watch him riding - his wheels are barely on the ground......I'm frankly astonished he hasn't had a big crash like this sooner. Hope he heals up well, and can keep riding.
  • 5 0
 Reviens vite nous faire rêver sur ton vélo Amaury!!! Tu nous manques déjà...
  • 2 0
 Don't they have to wear spine protection when racing in France? He must have slammed super hard to break those bones through that. Can only imagine how fast he was going!

I've broken three transverse apophysis and fortunately healed pretty quickly thanks to pilates. As fit as Amuary is I am sure he will have no problem coming back from that.

Heal up AP.
  • 4 0
 I think you are right it’s a very hard rule (Neko wasn’t allowed to race a few years back because of lack of back protector I think?) but I would think the speed this crash was he was less hurt wearing it than without it. It sounds it was a full gas pinned than into the ground instantly
  • 8 0
 Friend of mine had the same injury from being t-boned on the road but seemingly it's not necessarily a direct result of a spinal impact. Apparently they are the attach points for large muscles which, due to the extreme spasm effect from a heavy hit, can rip those wing piece clean off....
  • 3 0
 @sourmix: yes, that’s called an avulsion fracture. All the best AP
  • 2 0
 Back protection would protect against direct impacts, and these are less common than fractures as a result of a rotational or bending force, such as fractures to the transverse process. Transverse process fractures are one of the most common fractures I see at the emergency department I work at. They typically heal without any issues.
  • 1 0
 I remember a few years ago, I think it was Val d'Isere, Minnaar said he was wearing panty liners for back protection. His justification was that it said pads on the box.
  • 2 0
 I picture his crash like the last jump in one of his races last year where he almost went OTB at the finish line but I guess this time he couldn't save it, this is the worst part of DH racing! you want to be the best? well apparently it comes at a cost that you cannot escape
  • 2 0
 wish you all the best and a good healing process. just take it slow to be fully recovered 2020. take your time for a good rest it's your health and you only got one life. wishes to you and your friends and family and patience for your sponsors.
  • 1 0
 2021
  • 2 0
 Ahhh no! I thought he was out with the Hand injury already. Gutsy and possibly the wrong decision to return early, The season is a write off anyway and next year will see new formats. Good luck to the guy I hope he has a steady supply of CBD
  • 3 0
 At the speeds these guys are able to go now, through heavily wooded and rocky terrain, I forsee a change in the rules to safety equipment. I only hope that the changes come *before* some horrific event necessitates it
  • 4 0
 Sounds grim! Healing vibes to Amaury.
  • 2 0
 When you're constantly pushing to be the best that you can be, shit occasionally happens, he'll be back, bigger, faster and stronger.
  • 1 0
 Best healing vibes in the world to you g!! This is just an opportunity to come back even stronger. Don’t let it get to your head and you’ll be back to ripping WC’s again before you know it!
  • 1 0
 That's a nasty set of injuries. He'd be in massive pain. Hoping he recovers fully and is back to his best. Healing vibes sent!
  • 2 0
 The speeds have gotten too high, I really hate it for AP, he’s a great kid, and a real talent.
  • 1 0
 I broke my bones too like him,transverse apophysis.now about 4 mouthes, I really feel it uncomfortable. I don't know when I can get better, God bless this guy!
  • 2 0
 Best wishes and healing vibes going your way
  • 2 0
 Get well soon sportsman.......healing vibes from Germany!
  • 1 0
 Espérons qu'il se soigne aussi vite qu'il roule !

Bon courage à Amaury ! ;-) Tu nous manques !
  • 2 0
 Wish him a fast and full recovery!
  • 2 0
 Prompt rétablissement Amaury !
  • 2 0
 Ouch, hope you heel up soon.
  • 1 0
 Sounds like a shitty feature that took out a lot of riders. If AP goes down on it, it has to be sketchy.
  • 1 0
 Airlifted from an injury almost so fast no one knows what the injury is. Good work responders! Heal up AP!
  • 1 0
 Such a bummer...One of my all time favorite riders. Always hyped to see him ride! Heal up fast, A.P!
  • 1 0
 I want to tell anyone who has seen this, SAFE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER. PLS BE SAFE.
  • 1 0
 All the best AP and healing vibes.
  • 2 0
 All the best bro!
  • 1 0
 Bummer, hope for a full recovery and return.
  • 2 0
 All best to Mr. Pierron.
  • 1 0
 wasn't he supposed to miss this race because of a hand injury?
  • 1 0
 Apparently he's got some good nurses, he says! And pancakes. #carbsloading
  • 1 0
 make dh less about straight lines again
  • 1 0
 Yikes, heal up soon!
  • 1 0
 Scary. Heal up fast!
  • 1 0
 get well AP
  • 1 0
 no why he was the best
  • 7 7
 Less speed more tech.

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