Camille Balanche Breaks Collarbone in Mont-Sainte-Anne Crash

Aug 4, 2022
by Sarah Moore  


World Cup overall leader Camille Balanche has just shared the news that she broke her collarbone in the first day of practice at Mont-Sainte-Anne. With a 230 point lead over Myriam Nicole and 369 point lead ahead of Vali Höll, Camille was in a strong position to take the 2022 overall series with just Mont-Sainte-Anne this weekend and Val di Sole September 2-4 remaining.

bigquotesNot what I wanted to share after this first day of practice but I crashed on my shoulder and broke my collarbone! I’m proud of my season so far and I was so close to achieve my dream but shit happens! I was kinda waiting this day to arrive as I was super lucky since 2017! Good luck for everyone racing this weekend! I will be cheering from the side! It’s hard to tell if I will be back before the last round but I will take one day after the other and keep you updated.Camille Balanche

We're gutted to see the Swiss rider injured and wish her all the best with her recovery.


100 Comments

  • 143 2
 Gutted for her, she had the overall forsure. Heal up soon! She will be ripping next year.
  • 64 0
 Gutted for her anyway, overall apart. She's such a great and NICE athlet/person... Bon courage Camille... et désolé...
  • 15 86
flag fabwizard (Aug 4, 2022 at 15:41) (Below Threshold)
 Could plate today and race Saturday. I dont recommend it, but it is possible. Get a few points to make sure doesnt lose overall lead.
  • 31 3
 @fabwizard: that's not a thing.
  • 5 1
 @fabwizard: Not enough points to make it worth it, I'd say.
  • 19 1
 It shouldn’t be. But it is very common in motogp. And it has huge long term health consequences if you injure it again while healing. Marc Marquez Is recovering from his 4th humerus operation after it got infected after a crash after surgery post from another crash. His arm was becoming none functional. Another rider this year got an infection during a race weekend a few days after wrist surgery , from a crash the weekend before. @bonkmasterflex:
  • 15 0
 From another site:

We've heard Elite Women's series leader, Camille Balanche, is out for the season broken collarbone after a crash in practice, Loic separated his shoulder and Loris had a big off as well. We wish them all the best.

Flat tires were a common occurrence today as riders pushed the pace during timed runs. Just heard that Amaury had a flat during his 4th place timed run.
  • 25 0
 @gcrider: As you point out, this has happened in MotoGP - Lorenzo, Rossi and others also come to mind - but the stresses, bumps, twists and hits are very different in MTB DH.
MSA is a fast course, and if the plate came loose during a run, the consequences could be catastrophic.
Camille has the rest of her life to live.
  • 1 19
flag nickfranko (Aug 4, 2022 at 17:28) (Below Threshold)
 @gcrider: Oh no, not Pinball! Lol. MotoGP is so much better without that twit around.
  • 2 0
 @fabwizard: pretty sure her surgeon would not okay with that
  • 3 13
flag fabwizard (Aug 4, 2022 at 20:15) (Below Threshold)
 I never said it was a good or safe option or that any doctor would recommend. It is similar to the concussion dilemma. No one should have to put their future on the line ,but we have to remember that they put their lives on the line every time they drop in so in comparison how bad is a plated collar bone.
  • 2 0
 Great points. Having almost crashed when doing a very small jump on a smooth track while riding with a broken clavicle ( broke it night before flying to Rotorua for a week.) definitely not recommend @tigerfish50:
  • 15 0
 So shitty for Cami! She’s been the best story in DH. Class act too! Heal up soon, where gonna miss ya.
  • 9 1
 @fabwizard:

As a surgeon who fixes clavicles, you're right, no doctor would recommend this... but I get your point, it just isn't reasonable when the risks so clearly outweigh the benefits.
  • 9 2
 @fabwizard: Pretty damn bad if they're putting putting their lives on the line every run unless your stupid. This isn't the 10 years ago "be tough and ride till your broke" generation. If athletes don't give themselves time to heal after injury's they're not athletes, they're goons and goons don't last long in any sport. Camille is an Olympian and started DH later in life. If you break a major bone in your 30's and just get bolted up your basically ruining it for life if anything goes wrong in your run. Get your s-hit together.

Also, there is no concussion dilemma any more, its a god damn brain injury, stay the f home. don't be stupid
  • 3 1
 @kiddlivid: If you don't think they put their life on the line every time they leave that start gate you are sadly mistaken.

Do you not think that one head butt to a tree could just end it? Every one of these extreme sports has a risk of death, it is just how is it managed and who is willing to risk more.

In this case I doubt she is racing for millions in sponsorship/prize money so I agree that to me the the risk is not worth the reward, I merely pointed out the option. See @ Duplex above.
  • 1 0
 @duplex: would you say it’s entirely possible for her to be back in a month?
If that’s the case, she misses one race.
Surgical reduction saw me back on the bike in 28 days.
By the way, thanks for all you do.
  • 1 0
 @kiddlivid: Just think about the fact that some DH races have massive features but a ride around that is much slower. The incentive is there to take a risk and save time, you are unlikely to win if you dont do the feature, but it is a major crash risk.(couple races ago there was a creek gap like this that took out many riders and easily could have died if things went really wrong). Where is the risk reward there??? Yet still people are upset about even suggesting an option to race on a plated collarbone.
  • 1 0
 @fabwizard: reread the post,You said they put their lives on the line every run, so what's the big deal if they get plated up for a run? I understand what they do, I'm saying it would be stupid to go out at 90% or less physically and risk their life and most DH racers seem to be finally taking the time to let their body's heal instead of getting a concussion or throwing a metal plate in and trying to walk it off for points. What if they caused more damage? Are two races worth risking a longer career? No, they aren't.
  • 1 0
 @kiddlivid: You and I both agree that we feel the risk is not worth it. But we are not a racer going for a championship. In those shoes you may make a different decision.

While the pressure to compete may be less from a sponsor point of view nowadays after an injury. You are only talking the top few racers who have contracts where they get paid if they dont ride. The rest of the racers dont have the teams to fall back on and recover. They race injured or not.
  • 8 0
 @RobbyRideGuide:

For something as high impact as downhill mountain biking, a very aggressive return to the sport would be 8-10 weeks.

To clarify some points... plates aren't designed to substitute the strength of the native bone. These plates are low profile and meant to accommodate some small 2.7-3.5mm screws. During the surgery we try to align the bones as anatomically as possible and then compress the ends with the plates holding the bones together. The whole point is to minimize motion of the fracture site so the bones can heal in a way much different than if you were to allow it to heal without surgery.

If you return too early and there is too much strain across the fracture, it won't heal appropriately. The plate will see too much stress and start to loosen or break and now were potentially dealing with a nonhealing fracture site. Best to just allow it to fully heal, then rehabilitate, and then return so you can avoid complicated revision surgery.
  • 34 0
 So sad, she really deserved the overall…
  • 17 0
 Pompon and Vali will battle it out now. Crazy. Shows why you never give up.
  • 9 2
 @suspended-flesh: It's not over yet. Depending how fast she gets it fixed and how fast she heals, she could still come back to the last race
  • 2 0
 @bashhard: True, but she'll get zero points for at least one race.
  • 7 0
 @suspended-flesh: she's got big enough lead to still be able to pull it off
  • 1 0
 @bashhard: I hope she can heal fast enough to make the last race and WC
  • 33 1
 Maybe it's not all over yet. She could return for the last race and race for the overall title. Good luck.
  • 23 1
 Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!
  • 18 0
 Devastating for Cami... one minute on top of the world now this !!! This sport takes no prisoners!! Wishing you a speedy recovery Camille.
  • 14 0
 Gutted for her, she had the overall locked up for sure this weekend!
  • 11 1
 Absolutely gutted for her. Seems like such a humble and nice athlete, and her trajectory over the last couple years has incredible. Hard not to root for her, and hard not to be devastated abou this crash, especially since she's normally relatively cautious and usually doesn't crash much. Hoping against hope for a speedy recovery and that she can still put it together to race Val di Sole. But with three wins, two 2nd places, and a 3rd, plus qualifying first every race this season, she has so much to be proud of no matter what happens. Healing vibes!
  • 13 0
 Thanks everyone ❤️ Will be back soon
  • 4 0
 Oh no.... She could still pull off winning the season, if it's not completely busted up - look at how well Loic is riding with a recently broken collarbone....could still happen!
  • 1 2
 Yes Cami can still do it but if Pompon wins both races and Camille is out, she wins the overall. Loic is not riding that great actually - as he has said.
  • 4 0
 the track is probably the nastiest proper DH out there. period. Massive respect to anyone on that hill and to Camille I am gutted for you as well sending vybz
  • 5 1
 More than Val di Sole?
  • 6 0
 More than Snowshoe in the wet?
  • 1 0
 @pisgahgnar: "...it's probably the most brutal track of the year." ~ Cathro from the start of his track preview video
  • 3 2
 Rode Val di Sole today, confirming the track is absolutely insane to ride let alone race. More tech and fast/direct than goats gully. And wrong line choice can kill you.
  • 1 0
 MSA is sick but for me, Champery can’t be ignored either. I can’t wait for the worlds to return there.
  • 1 0
 @pisgahgnar: If you haven't seen it, check out the video Danny Hart posted on Youtube a month or two ago called "Roughest track I have ever rode. Val Di Sole, Black Snake!"
I'm not sure if that's the same track they run for UCI DH. The video is sick.
  • 6 0
 What was the snapping sound right before she crashed?
  • 3 0
 I thought it was a blown tire (which killed her speed for the next drop)
  • 2 0
 @pmhobson: more like broken rim.
  • 2 0
 @Archimonde: Quite possibly, yeah.
  • 1 0
 @Archimonde: I agree. I just blew a rim out and it sounded just like that. Thankful I had no crash after like Camille did. Heal up quickly Camille!
  • 1 0
 Crankbrothers Synthesis I believe.
  • 7 0
 I did not break anything on my bike, just wanted to try a new line but didn’t worked out @pmhobson:
  • 4 0
 Perhaps the most brutal close to a season in years, to be leading the series by that much, not quite locked up and have this happen, devastating. Get well soon Cami.
  • 2 0
 What about Deprela last year?
  • 3 1
 Nooo! Get well soon, Cami! And don't over do it trying to get ready foe the last world cup race... Your body won't thank you for forcing it.

Still time remaining to change fantasy teams!? She was my safe bet this season...
  • 5 1
 Damn, such a silly little spill. Can’t imagine the frustration at a pro level for this kind of shit.
  • 3 0
 That sucks, she's my fave. I hope she heals up well enough to take the overall title. I guess I'll pick up Nina on the fantasy team.
  • 2 0
 I feel for Cami, rode so good and consistent his year. I also broke my collar bone last Sunday and got plated. Stupid little bone brakes so quickly, but at least it is not so painful.
  • 2 0
 Oh man you can see her front wheel deflect of a rock/root and send her to the ground. Brutal!

Heal up fast and see you on the race scene soon!
  • 1 0
 it's crazy how a disaster can happen any time of any run, just like that you're over ! Sad for Camille who was clearly going for the overall, but maybe the luck is spinning for Myriam now
  • 1 0
 Forza Cami, run the Black Snake with a fresh broken collarbone is very scary, but Cami , you are like Wonder woman... Never give up. Italian fans will wait you on track for the Crown....
  • 3 0
 Damn. Really hope she can safely make it back to race the last round!
  • 4 0
 That sucks butts
  • 2 0
 Val Di Sole on a fresh collarbone is gonna be brutal, hope she can heal fast cause that's gonna be gnarly
  • 3 4
 Well that royally stinks. Heal up CB. Especially untimely with the great season she was having.

There's a snap/crack noise just as she goes past the Orange Pads and she utters "Whaa", then she nose dives into the right edge of that rock in the landing zone. I wonder if something on her bike broke??? It may be totally unrelated but the timing is a bit suspect.
  • 3 0
 Damn it! And on such a relatively tame section too. Take it easy Camy.
  • 6 0
 Sometimes it the easy stuff that gets you! Exhibit A what happened to Remy Metallier
  • 3 1
 @IsaacWislon82: Totally. "Let me just pause and look at this section.... aaaand I'm broken".
  • 2 0
 @BaconBikeJoe: Argh, meant to upvote. Sometimes it's just bad luck.
  • 3 3
 It's only Thursday, and Jorge Lorenzo got fifth at Assen in 2013 with a two day old plate in his shoulder, just sayin'! ...Seriously, I hope she bounces back fast enough to clinch the title. What a season--she deserves it!
  • 1 0
 Sorry to hear this, she has been the cream of the crop this year. Bummer way to lose a title & a bummer of a way to win a title.
  • 2 0
 Sucks for her and also for my Fantasy DH team which is already locked. Hope she can come back for the last race
  • 1 0
 Yes Camille, you can be proud of your season and for earning me so many points on the dream team. Wishing you a fast recovery
  • 2 0
 bummer! she was on a roll
  • 1 0
 Seriously bummed but that's the game. Heal well and fast. Hopefully you will make it back in September!
  • 1 0
 That sucks. I was wondering who the first victim would be. Track looks gnarly AF!!!
  • 1 0
 Gosh this sucks, she was crushing overall. Best healing vibes to an awesome rider!
  • 1 0
 Sorry Cami! Heal up fast!!!
  • 1 0
 Such a bummer for her! And right at the end of the track too.
  • 1 0
 So gutted, was looking forward to her taking the overall!
  • 1 0
 Sorry to hear. Camille has been crushing it this year.
  • 1 0
 This makes me sad! Hope she heals up well and quick.
  • 2 1
 Collar bone can be plated. Back in 2-4 weeks.
  • 1 0
 nooooooo, so close to the end Frown
  • 2 3
 Ah absolutely gutted for her she has been far the better rider and seems like a really nice person 2 towards other riders unlike vali holl!
  • 2 0
 You spend enough time with either rider to be able comment on how nice they are to other riders?
  • 1 1
 @mattyb84: just the way It looks when you watch wyn tv mate, camille is always nice towards other riders but vali holl was pretty much slacking off camilles riding and results!
  • 3 1
 Not her best on camera moment. I read her comments coming from jealousy or envy mixed with her anger/disappointment at her own crashing. Camille has beaten her at every round except rd4.
Camille has amazing core stability. So she doesn’t need to ride like a rodeo to ride fast./fastest

@Meganstuart1:
  • 1 0
 That’s a massive bummer!!

Heal fast.
  • 1 0
 this sucks so much, she was having a solid season and a real classy rider.
  • 1 0
 Ugh brutal!
  • 1 0
 Nooooooooooooo
  • 1 2
 Prayers and vibes of healing and strength
  • 1 2
 Daaaaang!!! Slap a plate in there and grip it and rip it! Ha.
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