Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins is in hospital after a collision with a car on a road near his home in north-west England.
Wiggins, 32, who capped a triumphant year by also winning a gold medal at the London Olympics, was hit by a car pulling out of a petrol station in Wrightington, north-west of Manchester, about 6pm local time on Wednesday. Wiggins lives in nearby Eccleston and is known to take training rides on rural roads in the area.
The Lancashire Evening Post reported Wiggins might have suffered several broken ribs as well as hand and wrist injuries. Local police had refused to provide any details of his injuries but a spokesman said they were “not thought to be life-threatening”.
The collision came three months after Wiggins called for drivers and cyclists to ‘‘co-exist’’ following a fatal accident just outside London’s Olympic Park.
“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.”
The collision sent Wiggins flying over his handlebars and happened while he was on a training ride followed by his support team, The Sun reported.
“They were following him in a van and they helped him out after the crash,’’ a source told The Sun.
‘‘We think he’s going to be fine, but I don’t know how quickly he’ll be back on his bike. His family have been told.”
Police were interviewing the woman driver of a Vauxhall Astra. She was unhurt.
On the same August 1 day that Wiggins won a gold medal in London, a cyclist was killed following a collision with an Olympic media shuttle bus just outside the city’s Olympic Park.
Wiggins, who has called for a law making it compulsory for cyclists to wear protective helmets, said at the time: ‘‘It’s dangerous and London is a busy city and a lot of traffic. I haven’t lived in London for 10 to 15 years now and it’s got a lot busier since I was riding a bike as a kid round here, and I got knocked off several times.
‘‘But I think things are improving to a degree – there are organisations out there who are attempting to make the roads safer for both parties.
‘‘We’ve all got to co-exist on the roads. Cyclists are not ever going to go away as much as drivers moan, and as much as cyclists maybe moan about certain drivers they are never going to go away, so there’s got to be a bit of give and take.’’
The Sun reported the collision happened just days after the father of two shaved off his prominent sideburns, which he had credited as a source of luck during his Tour win.
Wiggins has won seven Olympic medals, four of them gold.
Wiggins was already not expected to take part in January’s Tour Down Under.