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British cyclist to miss Tour of Britain after being hit by driver who tried to "squeeze huge 4x4 past at high speed" on country lane blind bend before returning to "verbally abuse and threaten" female rider

"Clearly the driver couldn't wait ten more seconds to overtake me"...

A British professional cyclist set to compete at the Tour of Britain Women which begins this week will not be racing after suffering injuries when she was hit by an impatient driver who tried to overtake at "high speed" on a blind bend in a narrow country lane.

Kate Richardson, who rides for Lifeplus Wahoo and won last month's Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix, shared the news on Instagram where she recalled the incident that is now being investigated by the police. According to her Strava, she had been training near Holmfirth in Yorkshire yesterday morning when she was hit by the motorist and suffered a refractured scapula, road rash and an "incredibly bruised and swollen right hip".

Kate Richardson's damaged kit after being hit by driver on country lane (Instagram)

[📷: Kate Richardson/Instagram]

Saying it is "incredibly hard to accept" but hopeful potential CCTV and witnesses will mean "some sort of justice will prevail", Richardson explained how the incident occurred on a "narrow single track road, no more than three metres wide and on a blind bend".

Kate Richardson's damaged bike after being hit by driver on country lane (Instagram)

"Clearly the driver couldn't wait ten more seconds to overtake me," she said. "He decided to try and squeeze his huge 4x4 past me at a high speed, hitting me hard and knocking me off my bike.

"Initially, he just drove on but turned around and came back later to verbally abuse and threaten me before getting back in his car and driving off again. Thankfully another driver came across the scene pretty quickly and kindly helped me up and drove me home.

"This of course means no Tour of Britain this week and I'm currently uncertain about what the rest of the season holds. This is a lot more than just a physical injury, it was incredibly scary and I count myself lucky that I walked away relatively unscathed compared to what it could have been. Mentally though, it will take a while to overcome."

Kate Richardson's damaged kit after being hit by driver on country lane (Instagram)

Richardson compared the impact of a crash like this to those experienced in races, having suffered some pretty nasty road rash at the recent RideLondon Classique, and explained how yesterday's crash "is incredibly hard to accept".

"Whilst racing incidents are never nice, we know that unfortunately they sometimes come with the territory. Even when not at fault we have no choice but to accept them and move on," she said. 

"This however, is incredibly hard to accept. It just should never have happened. There are far too many stories about cyclists being hit by cars whilst out training and there is absolutely no excusing it.

"Knowing that once again I'll be missing a key racing block, whilst knowing what sort of shape I've worked so hard to be in, is hugely disappointing and hard to get my head around. I'd say that normally I'm good at dealing with these types of situations, but with this being my fourth serious crash in under a year, my body and my mind is in need of some rest and recovery before thinking about returning to competition."

The Tour of Britain Women, previously named the Women's Tour, returns to the calendar this week having been cancelled last year due to funding issues. However, British Cycling has stepped in and committed to delivering both a men's and women's edition this year.

> British Cycling hopes to deliver Tour of Britain and women's edition in 2024

The women's edition begins on Thursday in Welshpool and will feature two stages finishing in Llandudno and Wrexham before returning to England for stage three in Warrington and the final day starting and finishing in Manchester.

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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45 comments

Avatar
Disgusted of Tu... | 1 month ago
8 likes

I hope Kate has a swift recovery with no lasting impacts and the driver is changed accordingly/ prosecuted.

This is a clear example of the "bike haters" and MPs on social media normalising this sort of behaviour which will continue to spiral down into the depths of toxic culture wars, unless there is a concerted effort to rebalance social expectations to improve road user behaviour & safety.

Ironically, we almost proved Chris Boardman's point last week when we came across a heard of cows (with calves = more likely to attack) roaming and stampeding across our path on a bridlepath, likely a deliberate ploy by the farmer (no signs or temporary fencing in place).

It does seem like cyclists are under threat on a daily basis and I agree with utilising "bikecams" to at least capture evidence of what has happened.

I have uploaded one incident to police but it took over an hour and there were several references to "you must attend court" and "you may be subject to criminal proceedings if you have committed any offences" likely a conscious attempt to reduce reports.

A quick and simple national reporting system should be available to upload "bikecam" footage to either report or help raise awareness of the ever present danger cyclists currently encounter?

My bikecam was only £40 and does the job, if there is an increased expectation of being recorded, drivers may start to think twice before their next reckless/deliberate act?

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DeelitedManchester replied to Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells | 1 month ago
2 likes

If can try and put your mind at ease, I've lost count of the number of incidents that I have reported to the Greater Manchester Police over recent years.  I always tick the "agree to attend court" tickbox as I'm worried the police will not attempt to take any further action if I don't tick it.  It usually takes me around 15 minutes to complete the form and a similar amount of time to edit the video evidence before submitting it to them.

On the plus side, I've never been contacted once to attend court and the GMP does make the effort to let you know if they are taking things further.  Something they started doing after I left them some feedback on the website.

I do agree that it would be nice if there were a common portal for all police forces.  They do seem to have similar forms, but not identical.

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wtjs replied to DeelitedManchester | 1 month ago
0 likes

I've never been contacted once to attend court and the GMP does make the effort to let you know if they are taking things further.  Something they started doing after I left them some feedback on the website

I smell several rats here! I agree that the police never taking any of these countless alleged offenders to court sounds authentic. The police starting to do something after 'feedback on the website' is unheard of. 'Making the effort' sounds like the letter where they say they are doing one of several things, but they won't tell you what it is- that means they did nothing or possible sent an 'advice letter'. Lancashire, before they stopped responding at all, adopted a variant where 'doing nothing at all' was one of the possibilities offered for 'action'.

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OldRidgeback | 1 month ago
8 likes

I hope the idiot in the 4x4 is traced, banned from driving and hit with a massive fine. That's appalling. I hope she heals up soon.

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Shermo replied to OldRidgeback | 1 month ago
1 like

I would hope for more than that, surely a prison sentence for knowingly assaulting someone with a 2 tonne metal weapon and then fleeing the scene?

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MarkBoast | 1 month ago
6 likes

Surely it is a "simple" assault rather than a traffic offence if the collision is deliberate and the driver returns to clearly demonstrate intent? Including collisions like this in national data skews intentional collisions into the same domain as non-intentional collisions. Intended is very different from unintended (or "accidental" as it is often termed).

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Rome73 | 1 month ago
13 likes

I remember years ago I got hit by an oncoming van.  The driver stopped to 'have a go' with the usual 'you're in the middle of the road etc'. He was driving way too fast of course so I asked him if he would have driven so recklesssly if I was a child. He looked perplexed and the replied well, no, of course not. Unfortunately adult cyclists are just seen as acceptable collateral - as an obstacle in 'their' road. 

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mattw | 1 month ago
7 likes

That - fractured scapula - may meet the threshold for serious injury (which is approx broken bones - the same as GBH), so this could potentially be a serious charge.

It will all be around whether they can charge, and if they go for dangerous, reckless driving and if they charge the following verbal abuse / threatening behavior.

The perp needs several years in prison pour encourager les autres.

My expectation for normal standards would be guilty plea to careless or serious injury by careless, and a fine or 1 yr suspended for 2 years. Either of which is cotton-batting for this level of criminality.
 

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Laz | 1 month ago
14 likes

Hit a cyclist; one of the the most vulnerable user of a road- the driver should immediately be charged, license suspended and taken in to appear before a judge or magistrate to argue for release conditions. 

Driving is easy- just go forward and dont hit anything ( I drive a truck for a living- and I have no problem sharing the road with courtesey and respect for others. There is no excuse in my book)

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jamesha100 | 1 month ago
5 likes

Even if the driver claims the cyclist was at fault for the accident then he is guilty of an offence which attracts a minimum of five penalty points and a maximum of 6 months in prison.

Hopefully he will get something from harsher end of the scale.

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polainm replied to jamesha100 | 1 month ago
6 likes

As the judge will also be a driver, then we can expect a £300 fine and 3 points. In the UK the highway culture is highly toxic, getting worse, amplified by police, CPS, juries and judges who don't cycle, are clueless about this culture, and view people on push bikes as poor/stupid/jobless and need to be taught a lesson by close passing or hitting with a two tonne machine. 

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eburtthebike | 1 month ago
19 likes

Definitely nothing to do with all the foul hate speech that cyclists have endured in the media over the past few weeks.  Congratulation Matthew Briggs, goal achieved.

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Muddy Ford | 1 month ago
7 likes

Is this on X, so I can tag some cunts... Briggs, Harper, Sunak, IDS?

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Cycloid replied to Muddy Ford | 1 month ago
2 likes

You forgot Nick Freeman, and probably lot's more!

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john_smith | 1 month ago
2 likes

Hope she sues the driver for everything he's got.

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JLasTSR | 1 month ago
13 likes

What a truly unpleasant person. Who goes back and berates the person they have crashed.

I do hope the victim gets well soon.

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wycombewheeler replied to JLasTSR | 1 month ago
2 likes
JLasTSR wrote:

What a truly unpleasant person. Who goes back and berates the person they have crashed. I do hope the victim gets well soon.

Is that better or worse than going back and asking the police to breath test the cyclist? 

https://beyondthekerb.org.uk/the-incompetence-paradox/

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mdavidford | 1 month ago
0 likes

CCTV? On a 'narrow country lane'? Is this a 'mistranslation' of 'on-board camera', or did the perp really manage to get extremely unlucky?

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Rendel Harris replied to mdavidford | 1 month ago
10 likes
mdavidford wrote:

CCTV? On a 'narrow country lane'? Is this a 'mistranslation' of 'on-board camera', or did the perp really manage to get extremely unlucky?

I'd guess CCTV might mean from commercial premises, doorbells etc on roads leading into and out of the area allowing the police to narrow it down to a fairly small group of vehicles that could have been on the road in question at the time; Kate has at least some idea of the type of vehicle and one would presume a good description of the driver so that should all help with tracing him, though not actually proving he was at fault (though in any sane legal system the fact that he did a runner should prove that beyond reasonable doubt).

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dubwise | 1 month ago
17 likes

Get well soon Kate.

Aye but cyclusts are the menace to society. I've only one thing to say to the likes of Briggs etc al. Go and take a fk to yourself.

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ubercurmudgeon | 1 month ago
16 likes

There are too many people in this country who learnt to drive in a Mini or a Metro (1.4m to 1.5m wide) but now drive Teslas or Land Rovers (1.9m to 2m) and haven't adjusted their expectations on what kind of gaps they can "go for". Worse, some of them have a sense of entitlement that has grown even more than their cars, and somehow think the rest of the world that should get out of their way, regardless of what the Highway Code says.

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ktache replied to ubercurmudgeon | 1 month ago
6 likes

Some now drive a "Mini" which is anything but...

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belugabob replied to ubercurmudgeon | 1 month ago
6 likes

And many more who didn't seem to learn to drive, at all.

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Simon E replied to ubercurmudgeon | 1 month ago
19 likes

This is not about misjudging gaps, it's the massive (and wholly misplaced) sense of entitlement that is the issue with too many drivers.

But overtaking at speed on a single track road, knocking someone off their bike then returning, not to apologise, but to verbally abuse the victim - that takes a special kind of pathetic, bullying c**t. He deserves to end up in a ditch himself and his car written off.

I hope Kate gets her physical fitness and her confidence back soon.

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lio | 1 month ago
26 likes

Big brave bloke.

Every professional bike team should issue their riders with front and rear training cameras and the number of some lawyers with teeth to take on a private prosecution in the case of rider harassment like this.  For loss of earnings if nothing else.

The police/CPS don't want to protect us so we've got to take things (legally speaking) into our own hands.

Come to think of it, I'd take out a policy with any insurance company that would go after nimrods like this guy.

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jaymack replied to lio | 1 month ago
9 likes

"The police/CPS don't want to protect us..." is a thoroughly ignorant comment. 14 years of cuts, choas and carnage in the pubilc sector has meant that those charged with "protecting us" just don't have the manpower/budget to do all they'd wish to. The Police Service has been hollowed out, (where have all the traffic Officers gone?) Prosecutors struggle under a mountain of cases and, as ever, it's the public that pay the price. So, no it's not "don't want to" we just no longer have the all the tools or time or the staff or the money to fulfill our mission; remember that on 4th July.

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mark1a replied to jaymack | 1 month ago
13 likes
jaymack wrote:

(where have all the traffic Officers gone?)

The dismantling of Road Policing Units began in 2002 when the Blair government decided that road safety could simply be implemented by getting rid of thousands of highly trained and skilled traffic officers (most of them returned to beat duty or retrained as armed response) and replacing them with civilians sat in the back of vans operating speed cameras. At the time, the local "partnerships" were able to retain the revenue collected and use it to fund more civilians in camera vans. A massive pyramid scheme, which has led us to a generation of drivers who think that speed is the sole factor in road safety, and little or no deterrent of other offences (ever wondered why nobody seems to think they'll get caught with no insurance, using their phone, defective tyres, driving like a c**t, etc?) The only way back is to bring in the Road Policing Units similar to their previous levels of personnel and training, who can educate as well as enforce. 

I personally don't think that there's a government in waiting of any colour that will do this, and until one does, nothing will change regarding road policing. 

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jaymack replied to mark1a | 1 month ago
4 likes

You are of course absolutely right about the dismanteling of Road Policy Units but let's not forget that we've had a 24% cut in road traffic officers since 2012. You can prove anything with statistics, even the truth!

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alymac71 replied to jaymack | 1 month ago
12 likes

If it weren't for the constant stream of reports from cyclists who have been brushed off, dismissed and threatened with counter charges by police for reporting, as well as the refusal to build reporting portals despite being given the cash, I might believe that.
You may want to and be constrained by budget, but many in the force are, at best dismissal, and more likely contemptuous of cyclists.

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lio replied to jaymack | 1 month ago
8 likes

The police/CPS don't want to protect us..." is a thoroughly ignorant comment.

You're quite right.  That's very poorly phrased and I withdraw it.  I'm personally friends with serving police officers that I think are very decent people.

You can take my comment as a poorly worded sign of frustration about a long term political failure to tackle poor and persistant aggressive driving.

When you can see almost daily videos online of aggresive driving and experience it on rides and then see only soft sentencing it's... frustrating.

I don't think I've ever heard of a driver having their licence permantly revoked in the UK even when they've killed multiple times.  That's a sign that the will isn't there.

If an amateur like Cycling Mikey can regualarly film drivers on the wrong side of the road but those drivers get let off because they know the right people it's ...frustrating.

We've even had people report aggresive dirving, with video evidence, and the result being the police threatening them for swearing.

The tabloids are full of guff about the "War on Drivers" but as far I can see only one side is actually hurting people and getting away with it.

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