fh tour 091513Racing action at Sunday’s Tour de Fair Haven following the first-race accident. (Click to enlarge)

just_in1A rider in the first race of Sunday’s Tour de Fair Haven series of bike races was seriously injured in a crash, police confirmed to redbankgreen.

The rider, whose identity is not yet being disclosed, was transported by MONOC helicopter to the trauma center at Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune following the collision shortly after 7 a.m., according to Sergeant Jesse Dykstra.

The crash occurred on the first lap of the first race, a nine-mile amateur event, in the vicinity of River Road and Locust Avenue, Dykstra said.

The rider’s condition was not known shortly after 11 a.m., he said.

The rider collided with a race official who was on foot. The official, whose identity was not available to the press, was transported to a local hospital by ambulance, and his condition was also not immediately available, Dykstra said.

Fair Haven resident Frank Scalzo tells redbankgreen the accident occurred directly in front of where he was standing as a spectator just as the pace car was leading riders to the end of the first lap in front of the borough firehouse on River Road.

Scalzo said the race official ran into the road and attempted to toss a walkie-talkie into the pace car but missed, and when he tried to retrieve the device, “he got nailed by one of the racers.”

The rider fell face-first into the pavement, and the official was sent flying into nearby grass, Scalzo said. Both appeared to be unconscious, he said.

Two years ago, a crash involving racing cyclists just a block east of Sunday’s accident led to one being taken to Jersey Shore as a precaution. His injuries turned out to be superficial.