Former pro Phil Zajicek loses arm after vehicle collision in Colorado

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Former pro cyclist Phil Zajicek was seriously injured in a collision with a flatbed truck Tuesday in Boulder, Colorado, resulting in a severed arm.

According to Boulder’s Daily Camera, Zajicek, 36, was descending Flagstaff Mountain in a group of six to eight cyclists at lunch hour when the accident occurred.

The group was coming into a fast, right-hand bend near the bottom of the descent when Zajicek collided with the truck.

A Colorado State Patrolman said that Zajicek hit the metal part of the truck’s bed, completely severing his arm. He was transported to a Boulder hospital in serious condition.

Officials have not said whether they believe the truck or Zajicek crossed the center line. The driver of the truck remained on scene.

During his pro career, Zajicek raced with Mercury, Saturn, Navigators Insurance, HealthNet-Maxxis, and Fly-V Australia. His career highlights include an overall win at the 2007 Cascade Cycling Classic and a mountain stage win at the 2009 Tour of the Gila ahead of Lance Armstrong and Levi Leipheimer, where he finished third overall. He also registered top-10 overall results at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, Tour of Britain, and the Amgen Tour of California.

In 2011 Zajicek was banned for life by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency after he was proven to have purchased EPO from another former pro, Joe Papp, and having provided false testimony. It was Zajicek’s second anti-doping offense after testing positive for the stimulant cathine in 2004.

Flagstaff Mountain is a popular climb, widely used by Boulder-area cyclists and hikers. It featured in the 2012 USA Pro Challenge, on a stage won by Australian Rory Sutherland.

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