Sutton injured in road accident

  • Last Updated: November 9 2012, 0:05 GMT

British Cycling have called for a new Government-led safety drive after Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins' road accident was followed less than 24 hours later by a serious injury to their head coach Shane Sutton.

Shane Sutton (r): Involved in an accident

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Wiggins has been released from hospital after a vehicle collided with him on Wednesday night but Sutton suffered bleeding on the brain following a road accident while on his bike in Manchester on Thursday morning.

The two accidents prompted British Cycling to call on the Government for immediate action.

A British Cycling spokeswoman said: "It is extremely rare that our riders and coaches are hurt while out cycling on the road, even rarer that two incidents should occur in a short space of time, and we wish Shane and Bradley a speedy recovery.

"Cycling is not an intrinsically dangerous activity but there is much more to be done to improve conditions for cyclists on the roads.

"British Cycling is calling on the government to put cycling at the heart of transport policy to ensure that cycle safety is built into the design of all new roads, junctions and transport projects, rather than being an afterthought."

Sutton was wearing a helmet when he was in collision with a Peugeot 206 being driven by a 61-year-old man in Levenshulme.

The British Cyclist spokeswoman added: "Shane was taken into hospital where it was identified he has suffered bruising and bleeding on the brain.

"Shane was wearing a helmet. He is set to undergo more tests, and is likely to stay in hospital for the next few days."

British Cycling director of policy and legal affairs Martin Gibbs believes that Britain has a lot to learn from abroad where there is greater provision on the roads for cyclists.

He told BBC Radio Five Live: "These incidents do remind you that we've got a long way to go we need to look to our cousins abroad and [Denmark capital] Copenhagen and see what they've done.

"Around 30 per cent of people making journeys there do so on their bike. We need the department of transport to stop thinking of cycling as an add-on."

Wiggins, 32, was thrown off his bike when a white Vauxhall Astra Envoy is thought to have pulled out of a petrol station and collided with him.

A police source said his injuries from the crash were thought to be very serious at first, but later it appeared he suffered a number of broken ribs and cuts and bruises.

He was released from hospital on Thursday afternoon.

The accident happened at about 6pm on Wednesday in Wrightington, Lancashire, which is near to his family home in Eccleston.

Father-of-two Wiggins is known to regularly embark on training rides around the area's rural roads.

Team Sky's Dr Richard Freeman said today: "Bradley has been discharged from hospital after suffering minor injuries, including bruises to his right hand and ribs, but is expected to make a full and speedy recovery. He is now going to spend the weekend at home convalescing with his family."

Australian Sutton, 55, has worked with the GB Cycling team since 2002 and has been credited with playing a major role in transforming the fortunes of the sport in this country.

He was awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in 2010 for his services to sport.

His career began as a road and track cyclist where he won numerous titles including a Commonwealth Games gold medal in the 1978 team pursuit competition and the 1990 Milk Race.

He split his time between the track and the road in coaching this year's British competitors at the London Olympics.

Throughout his career at GB Cycling, he was said by Team Sky to have "repeatedly got the best out of his charges through his sheer enthusiasm and force of personality."

AA president Edmund King said: "With autumnal weather and darker evenings it is essential to check and double check for cyclists, pedestrians and indeed other road users before pulling out.

"We need to break down the 'two tribe' mentality on the roads and co-exist in harmony."

British Cycling president Brian Cookson expects Wiggins will soon be back in the saddle.

He said of Wiggins' injuries: "Fortunately they are things that are not insurmountable so he'll be back in action pretty soon, we're confident of that."

Cookson told BBC Radio Five Live that Sutton's crash was different, saying: "It's very fortunate he was wearing a helmet because he did hit the road quite heavily.

"Helmets are designed for that kind of accident."

Asked how dangerous cycling is in the wake of the two accidents, Cookson said: "It's shocking but it's quite an unusual and quite a rare coincidence.

"Cycling isn't an inherently dangerous activity. It's no more dangerous than being a pedestrian, mile for mile."

But he added: "When you are out on a bike on the roads you do feel vulnerable and that's largely because of the way drivers behave in relation to cyclists.

"All of us on the roads, sharing the roads, we should all pay attention, look after each other and be respectful to other road users out there."


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