Bradley Wiggins: Tour de France winner back home after crash

Witness Yasmin Smith: "I heard screeching of tyres and a loud thud"

Britain's Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins is back home following a night in hospital after a bike crash.

The Olympic champion was treated for rib and hand injuries after he was in collision with a vehicle near a petrol station close to his Lancashire home.

The 32-year-old Team Sky rider was kept in overnight for observation before being released on Thursday afternoon.

Team Sky's Dr Richard Freeman said: "He is now going to spend the weekend at home convalescing with his family."

It was initially thought the London 2012 road race time trial champion had suffered broken ribs and a broken index finger on his right hand.

But Team Sky confirmed on Thursday that the rider had sustained only minor injuries and was kept at the Royal Preston Hospital overnight as a precaution, with no long-term injury problems suspected.

Dr Freeman added: "Bradley has been discharged from hospital after suffering minor injuries, including bruises to his right hand and ribs, but is expected to make a full and speedy recovery."

Lancashire Police said the driver of the white Vauxhall Astra car was not injured and would be spoken to by officers on Thursday.

The incident took place in the village of Wrightington, near Wigan, at around 18:00 GMT on Wednesday.

Garage attendant Yasmin Smith, who saw Wiggins shortly afterwards, told BBC Sport: "I was in the office and I heard a screeching of tyres and a bang.

The petrol station in Wrightington (van pictured was not involved in the incident)
The petrol station in Wrightington (van pictured was not involved in the incident)

"I ran outside and there was a gentleman on the pavement - I didn't realise who it was at first. He was in a lot of pain - he actually thought he had broken his ribs.

"His hands looked bruised and they were curled up a bit. And then his colour changed.

"He got put in a local person's car and when the ambulance came they attended to him immediately.

"His wife [tried to] hug him and he said: 'Don't, my ribs'."

The village of Wrightington is around three miles from Wiggins's family home in Eccleston and he regularly goes on practice rides around the rural roads in the area.

Wiggins, a father of two, is among the favourites to be named the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year.

In July, he became the first British winner of the Tour de France in July.

A fourth Olympic gold medal followed in August with victory in the time trial.

In a separate incident on Thursday morning, British Cycling head coach Shane Sutton was involved in a bike crash in Manchester.

British Cycling director Martin Gibbs told BBC Sport: "[Shane's] had a severe knock but he should be fine."

Following the incidents, British Cycling has called on the government "to put cycling at the heart of transport policy to ensure cycle safety".

Gibbs said: "These incidents do remind you that we've got a long way to go. We need to look to our cousins abroad and [Denmark capital] Copenhagen and see what they've done.

"Around 30% of people making journeys there do so on their bike. We need the Department for Transport to stop thinking of cycling as an add-on."

Tour winner Wiggins' Olympic golds

Former British time trial cyclist Michael Hutchinson, who now works as a journalist for Cycling Weekly, says changes are needed to the driving test to increase safety on the roads for cyclists.

He told the BBC: "There have been suggestions that perhaps the driving test could include not only more instruction on cyclists but perhaps even a cycling module where new drivers have to pass a cycling test before they're allowed to drive a car.

"It would help people realise the danger that cyclists are in and the vulnerability that a lot of people I think don't realise."

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