Epidemiology of injuries at the Australian 24 hour mountain bike championships


athletic injuries
epidemiological factors
off road cycling
mountain biking events

How to Cite

Taylor N, Ranse J. Epidemiology of injuries at the Australian 24 hour mountain bike championships. Australasian Journal of Paramedicine [Internet]. 2013Feb.4 [cited 2022Nov.26];10(1). Available from: https://ajp.paramedics.org/index.php/ajp/article/view/46



To describe injury type and frequency, and the factors influencing these, in endurance mountain bike riders.


This study used a cross-sectional retrospective audit of patient report forms, prospective meteorological information and race data over an eight-year period. The Australian twenty-four hour mountain bike championships is held annually in Canberra, Australia. All riders who presented to a first aid station for treatment during the race from 2000-2007, were included. Studied factors influencing injury were race time, ambient temperature and rider gender. Studied outcome measures were injury frequency, location, type and management.


Of the 14,777 riders over the eight years, 596 required first aid treatment for injuries (4.03%), the majority for minor injuries to extremities. Only 0.25% of riders were referred to hospital, 0.06% by ambulance. The injury incidence was 8.4/1000 bike hours with a race-ending presentation (a patient referred to hospital) incidence of 0.5/1000 bike hours. Patient presentation rates were highest in the first eight hours of a race. Higher average temperatures per year were associated with a greater risk of injury. Females were more likely to be injured.


This mountain bike competition was safe with minor injuries to extremities predominating and low referral rates to hospital. Higher injury rates should be anticipated in hotter weather and during the first third of the race. The first aid service organisation provided adequate clinical care at this event.