Canada’s Michael van den Ham became the unsung hero of the cyclocross World Championships in Hoogerheide on Sunday after television cameras caught him snapping his finger back into place after a serious dislocation.
Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert dominated the headlines after their head-to-head battle but Van den Ham was praised for his quick decision to snap his finger back into place, and for his courage to race on and finish 33rd.
The Canadian was caught up in a high-speed crash on the opening lap. When he got up television images showed his right ring finger dislocated at a 45-degree angle. He must have been in pain but van den Ham quickly snapped his finger back into position, got up and carried on.
On Instagram after his ride, van den Ham described his dislocation as being at “the grossest 45-degree angle” but posted a video with the ‘Snap Out Of It’ song by the Arctic Monkeys.
“Sometimes you just got to snap out of it. My race was actually good barring this one …. Mishap… but this will always be the race where I dislocated my finger and put it back in. Still not sure what, I’d anything, I was thinking, but it worked so,” he wrote on Instagram after posting a montage of video footage of his crash, his finger and how it snapped it back in place.
It was a remarkable weekend for Canada at the UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Hoogerheide, with Canadian sisters Isabella and Ava Holmgren finishing first and second in the junior women’s race, giving Canada their first-ever cyclocross world title.
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