Keen cyclist hospitalized but in good spirits after early morning crash

The Governor of Colorado, Bill Ritter, a keen cyclist, has reportedly broken a number of ribs after clipping the rear wheel of a fellow rider while out on a pre-dawn training run in Denver.

A spokesman for the Democrat politician was reported by Associated Press as saying that the Governor had been riding with four other cyclists when the accident happened, and that he was in good spirits, sharing jokes with medical staff and his wife at Denver Health Medical Centre. He added that the other cyclist involved in the accident, who has not been named, had suffered a minor wrist injury and had not needed to be taken to hospital.

Last June, Governor Ritter rode the 52-mile Elephant Rock Ride near Denver in support of a new cycling law in the state, and he has also talked with Lance Armstrong, who has a home in Aspen, about resurrecting bike racing in Colorado, with reports last August suggesting that the pair were collaborating on a stage race in the state in 2011.

The best-known race that the state used to host was the Red Zinger Classic, later renamed the Coors Classic, familiar to cycling fans around the world as a result of it forming the backdrop to the 1985 Kevin Costner film, American Flyers.

In 2006, a DVD was released of the Red Zinger Classic itself, which featured stages in other western states besides Colorado, and whose past winners include Greg LeMond and Bernard Hinault. The last edition, in 1988, was won by Davis Phinney, father of the current World Individual Pursuit Champion, Taylor Phinney.

Governor Ritter is reported to be still officially in charge of the state despite his injuries, although he has delegated a number of appointments to Lieutenant Governor Barbara O’Brien.


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 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.