DENVER, Colorado – Three minutes into the Denver Monster Energy Supercross race, Eli Tomac landed hard in the rhythm section and ruptured his Achilles tendon, an injury that will end his 2023 season and bid to win a second consecutive championship. Tomac rode slowly through the next straight and was in too much pain to continue. Tomac rode directly to the tunnel with his left foot raised and went straight to the Alpine Medical trailer.
Tomac was leading the race at the time of the incident in front of his hometown crowd. He entered the race 18 points ahead of Chase Sexton with the opportunity to clinch the championship if he won and Sexton finished worse than sixth. Sexton was outside that mark for the first couple of minutes.
The medical crew helped Tomac into the trailer as Chase Sexton was chasing down race leader Adam Cianciarulo. Moments later, Sexton took the lead and dropped Tomac to second in the standings with a deficit of seven points.
Last week Cooper Webb crashed in his heat and suffered a concussion that forced him out of the championship race. The accident for Webb allowed Sexton to move into second in the standings and kept his title hopes alive.
Tomac’s night got off to a cautious start. He and Sexton were engaged in a battle for the top spot in their heat and when Sexton took the lead, Tomac settled into safe mode and followed Sexton across the line.
In the feature, Tomac had an opportunity to dominate the race. He started the race third, blitzed the whoops and took the lead at the end of Lap 1. Tomac was pulling away from the field when he suffered the incident.
As time was running off the clock, it was announced that the Denver injury to Tomac will keep him from competing next week, which will allow Sexton to clinch the championship.
“It’s definitely a lot of mixed emotions right now,” Sexton told NBC Sports Will Christien. “It’s not the way you want to see someone go out. Eli’s an awesome competitor.We had a lot of good battles this year.”
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