Bradley Wiggins was taken to hospital with broken ribs last night after being involved in a collision with a car close to his home in Lancashire.
The Tour de France winner also sustained hand and wrist injuries in what Team Sky described as a “minor accident.” It is not thought his injuries will keep him out of the sport for any significant length of time. He was scheduled to be kept in hospital overnight for observation and sent home today.
The incident occurred when a Vauxhall Astra pulled out of a petrol station in the village of Wrightington, near Chorley in Lancashire at around 6pm and collided with Wiggins, who was knocked off his bike. Wiggins, who is in light post-season training in the wake of his remarkable year, was described by a witness to the accident as “being in a lot of pain.”
Team Sky, though, played down the initial reports of the severity of the accident. A statement from the team said: “The injuries he has sustained are not thought to be serious and he is expected to make a full and speedy recovery.”
The witness, Yasmin Smith, an attendant at the garage, told the BBC: “I was in the office and I heard a screeching of tyres and a bang.
”I ran outside and there was a gentleman on the pavement - I didn't realise who it was at first.
“He was in a lot of pain - he actually thought he had broken his ribs.
”His hands looked bruised and they were curled up a bit. And then his colour changed.
“He got put in a local person's car and when the ambulance came they attended to him immediately.
Ms Smith was said to be devastated when she was informed by police who it was she had hit.
Lancashire police confirmed the accident via a statement. It said: “Police were called to the scene of a road traffic collision at around 6pm. That was a cyclist who had been involved in a collision with a white Vauxhall Astra car. The rider of the bike, who we are saying is a 32-year-old local man, was taken to hospital with injuries. Those injuries are not life threatening. The driver of the car, who was a local woman, did not receive any injuries, and is assisting officers with our inquiries.”
Coach Shane Sutton told The Times: 'I spoke to the doctor at the hospital and it’s a suspected fractured or dislocated finger, and possibly a rib or two.
'This month Brad is getting back into basic training. Fortunately, even if he’s done a rib, he’ll be able to do some minor training.'
Wiggins has not ridden since the world championships in September after a year in which he became the first Briton to win the Tour and followed that with Olympic gold in London. His recent focus has been on writing his autobiography. The book is published today.