The seriously injured 14-year-old girl was found in the road after a silver vehicle passed

A driver is being sought after a mysterious incident that left a 14-year-old triathlete seriously injured.

The teenage girl, who is ranked third for her age in the triathlon, was out training in the New Forest with her father when she raced ahead from him to crest a hill.

While she was out of sight, a silver vehicle overtook the father in the direction of his daughter.

When he eventually caught up with her, he found her seriously injured in the road, and she was taken to Southampton General Hospital with head injuries, a broken collar bone and multiple cuts.

Sergeant Richard Grant from Hampshire Police told the Southampton Daily Echo that police need to establish whether the silver vehicle was involved or whether the girl, from Ferndown, came off her cycle during the incident at 5.30pm on Sunday.

He said: “We want to speak to anyone who may have seen the cyclists before the incident or who may have witnessed it.

“In particular, we need to speak to the driver of a silver vehicle which was travelling in the same direction and overtook the cyclists shortly before the girl was found lying in the road, injured.”

The cyclists were on Crow Hill, towards Christchurch Road, near Ringwood.

The issue of cycling in the New Forest has provoked much debate of late amongst both residents of the national park and the many cyclists who use it - with some residents both resentful of the numbers of cyclists on the Forest roads at weekends - particularly during the recet New Forest Sportive - and apparently concerned about their impact on the local environment while cyclists point to incidences of inconsiderate and agressive driving.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.