Bradley Wiggins crash offers reminder of sport’s dangers

Tour de France winner suffers suspected broken ribs after coming off his bike in collision with van

LAST UPDATED AT 09:25 ON Thu 8 Nov 2012

EDITOR’S NOTE: Since this item was posted, news has emerged that GB cycling coach Shane Sutton was hurt today in a separate road accident in Manchester. He has been diagnosed with bleeding on the brain but it is not thought to be life-threatening. Wiggins is now at home recovering from broken ribs.

OLYMPIC gold medalist Bradley Wiggins was recovering in hospital this morning after coming off his mountain bike in a collision with a van near his home in Eccleston, Lancashire, last night. The Tour de France victor and London Games time trial winner suffered a fractured finger and suspected broken ribs.

The Times reports that the 32-year-old was on his way to meet a group of other cyclists at around 6pm when he appeared to be hit by a white Vauxhall Astra van that was pulling out of a petrol station forecourt.

Garage attendant Yasmin Smith told the paper: "By the time I got there he had moved to a safer place but was still on the ground and he was in a lot of pain. He said he thought he had broken his ribs and while a lot of police cars arrived it was about 15 minutes before the ambulance got there, by which time he was blue."

Lancashire Police said that the female driver of the Astra "was spoken to by officers at the scene but was not arrested. She is assisting us with our enquiries and officers will speak to her again on Thursday."

Wiggins, whose annus mirabilis saw him win the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour de Romandy as well as the Tour de France and the Olympic gold medal, had recently started early training for next season.

Last week, he received the prestigious Vélo d’Or award as the world’s outstanding cyclist of 2012. He is 4/6 favourite with Paddy Power to follow that up with the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

The accident, which prevented Wiggins appeared on Chris Evans’s Radio 2 breakfast show this morning, is not thought to be serious enough to derail any plans for 2013. But it will serve as a high-profile reminder of the dangers faced by cyclists on Britain's roads. Wiggins is an outspoken advocate of helmets though, as The Daily Telegraph reports, he has had to clarify that he does not believe they should be compulsory. · 

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