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.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.