First Briton to win a stage on Tour de France injured in traffic accident while cycling

83-year-old Brian Robinson suffered a suspected broken collar bone, cuts and bruises

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The Independent Online

Legendary cyclist Brian Robinson - the first Briton to finish the Tour de France and win a stage - has been admitted to hospital after a collision with a car while on his bike.

The veteran road racer, 83, was cycling with friends when he was hit by a car just three miles from his home in West Yorkshire.

Emergency services were called to Lees Hall Road in Thornhill Lees at around 1.20pm on Wednesday and Mr Robinson was taken to hospital where he was being kept in overnight with a suspected broken collar bone, cuts and bruises.

The pioneering cyclist's son-in-law Martyn Bolt, a Conservative councillor for Mirfield in West Yorkshire, said the family was “shaken up” by the crash.

“He was descending a road when the collision happened. He has suffered multiple bruises and lacerations and what looks like a broken collar bone. Skin and blood came off,” he said.

“Your leg is one of the place that is hurt when you are hit and bounce across the road, but unlike many cyclists on the Tour de France, he hasn't got as much padding as some of the younger ones.

“We don't know how long he will be in hospital for, but we are hoping he will be back on his bike before too long. He likes to go out twice a week to keep fit and spend time with his friend. Inactivity is not something that sits well with him. It has obviously really shaken the family up.“

He said Mr Robinson's wife Audrey had dashed to his bedside at Pindersfield Hospital after hearing the news.

Mr Robinson, who lives in the small town of Mirfield, was a trailblazer for British cycling on the Continent, becoming the first Briton to finish the Tour de France in 1955 and the first to win a stage in 1958.

He was an ambassador for the hugely successful Yorkshire leg of the Tour de France, which saw millions of fans line the county's streets to cheer on the world's best cyclists earlier this month.

Mr Bolt said the crash should be a warning to drivers to look out for cyclists.

“With the legacy of the Tour de France coming to Britain more cyclists will be on their bikes and they can go quite fast,” he said.

”Bradley Wiggins was knocked off his bike near his home, and now a Tour de France pioneer has been knocked off his bike just three miles from his home.

“Drivers must be cautious. I would urge everybody to take a couple of seconds to make sure they are not putting somebody's husband, father or son in jeopardy.”

Gary Verity, the man behind Yorkshire's Tour de France bid, said on Twitter: “Thoughts & prayers tonight for Brian Robinson please.”