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Olympic champion hit by white van pulling off filling station forecourt

Bradley Wiggins was taken to hospital after being involved in a collision with a van in Wrightington in Lancashire. Lancashire Police later confirmed that the Olympic time trial champion and yellow jersey holder suffered a number of broken ribs and further injuries to his hands and wrist.

The Lancashire Evening Post reports that The incident occurred at 6pm when a white Astra van pulled off a filling station forecourt and collided with the cyclist, although the Sun have the vehicle as a car and say that the woman driver was being questioned by police.

The incident took place about five kilometres south of the village of Eccleston, where the 32-year-old lives with wife Cath and their two children.

In a brief statement issued shortly before 1130pm this evening, Team Sky said: "We can confirm that Bradley Wiggins was involved in a road traffic accident whilst riding his bike near his home in Lancashire on Wednesday evening.

"He is being kept in hospital overnight for observation but the injuries he has sustained are not thought to be serious and he is expected to make a full and speedy recovery.

"We will announce more details in due course."

Earlier, a spokesman for Lancashire Police said: "A cyclist has been involved in a collision with a white Vauxhall Astra car.

"The rider of the bike, a 32-year-old local man, was taken to hospital by ambulance with injuries not thought to be life-threatening. His family have been told."

The attendant at the garage, Yasmin Smith, reportedly said of Wiggins, "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."

Crow Orchard Road filling station is the reported scene of the incident (Google Maps)

The Sun, which notes that Wiggins had recently shaved off the 'lucky' sideburns he sported on his way to Tour and Olympic glory, aid that he was being followed by a support vehicle when the incident happened, and quoted a source as saying: Wiggo was on a ride followed by his support team.

He was sent flying by the impact and his pals raced to his aid. A source said: “They were following him in a van and they helped him out after the crash. 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.”

A lorry driver, Barry Blacklidge, aged 46, who arrived at the scene immediately after the incident, told the Sun: “There were about four police cars there. All the roads were coned off.

“I could see a pushbike, like a mountain bike, and the front wheel was all buckled. I went into the garage and asked what was going on.

"She said ‘Bradley Wiggins has just been knocked off his bike’. The ambulance turned up and they treated him for a while.

“He was up and walking around, but apparently he wasn’t too good. Drivers were stuck in the service station as the emergency vehicles blocked the exits.”

He continued: “I couldn’t get out of the service station in my truck because there were that many police vehicles there. I had to wait until they had moved. The police were examining his bike.”

Wiggins found himelf at the centre of a controversy over road safety during the Olympic Games when he suggested at a press conference that cyclists had a responsibility to wear a helmet.

He made his comments after being put on the spot with a question related to the death of 28-year-old Dan Harris from Wanstead, who was struck by a bus ferrying media between London 2012 venues immediately outside the Olympic Park.

He later took to Twitter to clarify his comments, saying that he had not been calling for helmets to be made compulsory.

Three years ago, Wiggins' wife Cath, who is herself an age group national champion on the track, vowed to stay off the road bike after being hit by a car while out riding.

A separate incident today in Leyland, less than 10 kilometres from Wiggins' home and 15 kilometres from where he was hit, left an male cyclist aged in his 80s seriously injured whe he was hit by a Citroen car on a roundabout at around 2pm. Lancashire Police have issued an appeal for information, with further details on their website.

Responding to news of Olympic cyclist Bradley Wiggins’ road incident last night, Sustrans Policy Advisor Joe Williams said:

"This collision shines a light on the increasing number of cyclists being killed or serious injured on Britain’s roads.

“Making cycling safer for everyone would cut congestion and pollution and help us to lead healthy lives. The government must create more safe space for cycling on and off roads and look at changing the law to follow the lead of many European neighbours, where a driver is also presumed at fault in a collision with a cyclist.

“We wish Wiggo a speedy recovery and a quick return to cycling.”

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.