The 2011 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb was not short of veteran drivers and riders crashing off course, and veteran Quad Modified rider Theo Bernhard was no exception. He was leading his group (quads start in groups of 3) into Glen Cove and his time was on pace for a possible class win.
Exiting Glen Cove the bike spun out and stalled. While he was kick starting the bike he saw Mike Ell pass by who went on to finish 2nd in the class. Just before the bike fired back up, another rider passes by, Michael Coburn, who went on to get the class win. Once Theo was back on course, Coburn was in his sights and Theo pushed the limits trying to regain the positions he had just lost.
The crash happened at the right hairpin located at Elk Park, which earlier in the day had some serious pounding on the guardrail courtesy of Dave and Allison Kern and also Stephan Verdier. Both of those cars hit the rail hard enough to move it a few inches. This proved to be beneficial for Theo as you can see his head barely slides under the rail missing it by less than an inch. Just like the few corners before when the bike stalled, Theo was ready to get the bike going again. He asked where his bike was but it had went on flipping over the guardrail and stopping approximately 150yds down the mountain. The adrenaline quickly rushes out of a rider’s body after that. Theo then realized that weight bearing on his hip was then a serious issue.
The race was over. The result…a broken pelvis and a DNF for the year.