Fact Check: Story About Cyclist Bethany Sanders Impaled By Bike Seat Is NOT True -- And Photos Are Puck Moonen, Not Sanders

Fact Check

  • by: Kaiyah Clarke
Fact Check: Story About Cyclist Bethany Sanders Impaled By Bike Seat Is NOT True -- And Photos Are Puck Moonen, Not Sanders Satire Article

Were the organs of a professional cyclist named Bethany Sanders crushed by her bike seat? No, that's not true: The website that published the article where this claim is made, Ringsssss, is self-described as a "fabricated satirical newspaper and comedy website." Also, the photos with the article are of professional Dutch cycling star Puck Moonen, who is alive and well -- not of "Bethany Sanders."

The October 25, 2021, article (archived here) is titled "Cyclist Dies When Bike Seat Slips ... On A Bumpy Road And Crushes Her Internal Organs." It opened:

Professional Cyclist Bethany Sanders was practicing for her next race in Italy when the most terrible thing imaginable happened!

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Cyclist Dies When Bike Seat Slips Into Her Vagina On A Bumpy Road And Crushes Her Internal Organs

The article continued:

Sadly Beth would die as a result of her injuries. Multiple organs were crushed, both her lungs were punctured and her spine was in nearly severed as well.

Lead Stories does not typically review claims from websites that are explicitly satirical such as Ringsssss. However, some people believe this claim and it uses the photo of a real person.

A Google search using the keywords "Professional Cyclist Bethany Sanders" displayed no results. A Google reverse image search of the photos of the woman in the article alongside keywords, "Cyclist Dies When Bike Seat Slips" reveals the exact images found in this 2016 Sun.co.uk article on Dutch cyclist Puck Moonen, who has shared thoughts on experiencing sexism on social media.

Moonen is alive and well, as seen in this October 26, 2021, Instagram post published on her verified account, @puckmoonen.

Puck Moonen most recent Ig post (yesterday).png

A Google search with the keywords "Puck Moonen Death" shows no results or significant news events that suggest she has died since her most recent social media post.

The about us page on the Ringsssss website displays this disclaimer, in part, regarding its content:

Ringssss is a fabricated satirical newspaper and comedy website. Ringsssss uses invented names in all its stories, except in cases when public figures are being satirized.

More Lead Stories debunks about claims originating from Ringsssss can be found here.

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  Kaiyah Clarke

Kaiyah Clarke is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Journalism. When she is not fact-checking or researching counter-narratives in society, she is often found reading a book on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Read more about or contact Kaiyah Clarke

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Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
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