London to Brighton cyclists seriously injured on ride

London to Brighton bike ride About 28,000 people took part in the bike ride on Sunday

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One cyclist was left fighting for his life and a woman was airlifted to hospital after two crashes in the London to Brighton charity bike ride.

About 28,000 people took part in the event, run by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), on Sunday.

Police said the man crashed into a telegraph pole near Reigate, Surrey, at about 07:25 BST. At about 10:00, the woman crashed near Redhill.

The BHF said an investigation would be carried out in conjunction with police.

Officers said the man, who is in his 30s and from London, was taken to St George's Hospital in south London where he remains in a serious condition.

The woman, also in her 30s, was airlifted to St George's with head and eye injuries. Police said her condition was stable.

'Address rider safety'

Louise Parkes, director of fundraising at the BHF, said: "We are saddened to hear that two cyclists have been injured while taking part in today's British Heart Foundation London to Brighton Bike Ride.

"An investigation will be carried out in conjunction with the police, ride managers and other agencies.

"As soon as we're in a position to comment further we will do so. Our thoughts are with those involved and their families."

Some people have raised questions about the safety of the 54-mile ride on social media.

One tweeted: "@TheBHF very well organised event , but you need to address rider safety .#toomanyaccidents"

The BHF wrote back that it was always trying to improve safety and would be looking at issues for next year's bike ride.

Another cyclist wrote: "Pleased with my achievement today. An hour off my PB, but can't get the injured man's face out of my head. Update? @TheBHF @LDNtoBrighton"

Those who took part in Sunday's bike ride included Masterchef presenter and chef John Torode, Olympic gold-medal winning rowers Mark Hunter and Tom James and TV presenter Aggie Mackenzie.

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