TOUR de France champion Bradley Wiggins was taken to hospital last night after colliding with a van in Lancashire.
The 32-year-old, who won gold in the time trial at this year’s London Olympics, is believed to have suffered fractured ribs, hand and wrist injuries, and severe bruising.
Team Sky confirmed in a short statement that the injuries sustained by Wiggins were “minor”, meaning they are not expected to jeopardise his professional cycling career.
The incident occurred at about 6pm in Wrightington, close to the cyclist’s family home in Eccleston. Police said a white Vauxhall Astra van had pulled out of a service station forecourt and collided with the passing cyclist.
The father-of-two was cycling down Crow Orchard Road near the junction with Mossy Lea Road when the crash occurred.
Garage attendant Yasmin Smith rushed to the Tour de France winner’s aid. She said: “By the time I got there, he had moved to a safer place, but was still on the ground and he was in a lot of pain.
“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.”
A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “His family have obviously been made aware.
“We’ve been to the scene to carry out some inquiries, but we didn’t have to close the road.”
Police are speaking to the van’s female driver.
Wiggins became the first British winner of the world’s most prestigious road cycling race when he claimed the Tour de France title in July.
He is the only rider to have ever won both a Grand Tour and a gold medal in Olympic track cycling.