Cycling champion breaks back in crash

Paralympic cycle champion Simon Richardson has broken his back in two places in a hit-and-run crash that has left him in a critical but stable condition.









The 44-year-old cyclist, who won two gold medals and a silver at the 2008 Beijing Games, may need surgery as he also has a double break to the pelvis, both front and back, and a broken breast bone. He is breathing out of one lung.



In a statement, his wife Amanda, who is by his hospital bedside, said: "I'd like to thank everyone in the cycling community and other well-wishers for their messages of support for Simon.



"He will be heartened to know that people are extending their positive thoughts and encouragement to him during this difficult time."



Richardson, of Porthcawl, was cycling near Bridgend yesterday morning when he was apparently struck by a white van and thrown to the side of the road.



He was taken by air ambulance to the University of Wales Hospital in Cardiff.



Richardson is no longer on British Cycling's para-cycling squad but he was still training.



Friends, family and colleagues have flooded him with get-well messages, including former team-mate and Paralympic champion Jody Cundy.



The International Paralympic Committee tweeted: "Our thoughts are with British paralympic cyclist Simon Richardson, who is in the hospital after a road accident while training this week."



Friend Phil Jones, who also works with technology firm Brother, one of Richardson's sponsors, said: "Simon has shown before that he has the enormous mental and physical strength needed to overcome challenges.



"He also has tremendous support not just from his family and friends but the cycling community, his sponsors and the wider community in Porthcawl, his home town."



Gareth Sheppard, the performance manager for British Cycling's paracycling team, said: "All our thoughts are with Simon and his family.



"It's really, really sad that someone's life could be threatened by someone not taking due care and attention on the road."



With ever-increasing traffic congestion and cycling a growing mass participation event in the United Kingdom, Sheppard called for increased awareness from all road users.



He added: "You've got little protection as a cyclist because you are so exposed.



"We very much want to make sure racing and cycling in general on the road is safe and there does need to be a Government-backed campaign on the issue."



Gerwyn Owen, of Disability Sport Wales, said the incident highlighted the need for everybody to look after cyclists on the road and for cyclists to take care themselves.



He said Richardson had been training hard and competing in his bid to get into the London 2012 team.



He said: "He is still a full-time athlete, supporting himself, and he gets great support from his wife, Amanda.



"Long may it continue and we look forward to when he gets out of hospital and we can assess his condition."



Richardson was seriously injured in a cycling incident with a car while out with cycling club friends in 2001.



PA

News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
artCultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
Arts and Entertainment
Preparations begin for Edinburgh Festival 2014
Edinburgh festivalAll the best shows to see at Edinburgh this year
News
Two giraffes pictured on Garsfontein Road, Centurion, South Africa.
i100
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm, actor was just 68
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices