Five times Olympic Champion Sir Steve Redgrave was badly injured last Friday during the Race Across America, just 300 miles from the finish in Annapolis, it has been revealed.
The rower, riding as part of an eight-man team comprised of people connected with the sport, broke several bones after what sounds like an horrendous fall from his bike shortly after starting a stint on the road with three of his team-mates.
According to a post on the Redgrave Crew website, “Steve flying down a highway hit something, we don’t know what, and went over the handlebars landing face first. He has two broken ribs, broken cheek bone and wrist.”
The Olympic news focused website Inside The Games has since reported that Sir Steve’s accident was due to him losing control of his bike after puncturing on a bend during a descent.
The post on the Redgrave Crew website continued: “Steve spent two nights in hospital, with Malcolm and team Dr. Reman keeping watch and updating the team on progress.”
Naturally, the race was the furthest thing from the team’s minds as they anxiously awaited news of their leader, but “even lying on his stretcher Steve urged the team on.”
However, as the blog post reports, “We had to make the right decision then, for the safety and health of everyone on the team, emotionally it was going to be very difficult to carry on there and then. So we shut down, took the night off, stopped racing and handed over our 4th place.”
It continues: “We would have finished the 3005.1 miles in approx. 6 days 10 hours at an average speed of just under 20mph. As it was we completed on Saturday in 7 days, 3 hours, 42 mins with an average speed of 17.4 mph.
“Bearing in mind our original objective to complete the race in under 8 days we are all enormously proud of this achievement.”
As far as we can see, the only clue on the Race Across America's official website that something was amiss with the team are the time taken and average speed ridden to reach the Timing Stations on the part of the route where the accident took place.
Inside The Games reports that as well as the broken bones, the ex-rower was concussed in the fall, meaning that although he has been released from hospital it may be some time before he is deemed fit to fly. It has also been reported that once home, he will require an operation to have a metal plate put in his cheek.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.