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Update: Lizzie Armitstead withdraws from Aviva Women’s Tour after finish-line crash after winning stage one in Aldeburgh

07:11 18 June 2015

Elizabeth Armitstead has a collision at the end of the Women's Tour in Aldeburgh.

Elizabeth Armitstead has a collision at the end of the Women's Tour in Aldeburgh.

Sarah Lucy brown

Lizzie Armitstead last night withdrew from the Aviva Women’s Tour after the prestigious event was marred in Suffolk yesterday when the cycling champion suffered a nasty collision with photographers moments after winning the first stage.

Lizzie Armitstead came off her bike as she crossed the finish line in Aldeburgh today. She had just been declared the winner of the first stage of The Women's TourLizzie Armitstead came off her bike as she crossed the finish line in Aldeburgh today. She had just been declared the winner of the first stage of The Women's Tour

Armitstead had just crossed the finishing line in Aldeburgh when she veered to the left and crashed into a number of photographers stationed at the roadside.

The 26-year-old Boels Dolmans rider was violently unseated and received medical treatment on site before being taken by ambulance to hospital.

Several hours later Armitstead, a gold medal winner in last year’s Commonwealth Games road race and a silver medallist at London 2012, tweeted to confirm she had escaped serious injury but would not be on the start line for stage two in Braintree this morning.

She had been a leading contender to win the five-stage Women’s Tour with defending champion and former three-time road world champion Marianne Vos, of the Netherlands, and current road world champion Pauline Ferrand Prevot, of France, both sidelined through injury.

Lizzie Armitstead crash at the finish line in AldeburghLizzie Armitstead crash at the finish line in Aldeburgh

Instead, Armitstead is hoping to be back to full fitness for next month’s national road championships

She said on Twitter last night: “I remember winning with the help of my team-mates and then not much else, but I am ok, nothing broken just very sore.

“Thank you for all your kind messages and to the NHS staff who took care of me so well. I won’t start tomorrow in the hope of recovering properly for the Nationals.”

It came about an hour after the official Twitter account for the Aviva Women’s Tour tweeted: “For everyone asking about Lizzie Armitstead, she was discharged and walked out of hospital and is back with her team at the hotel.”

Lizzie Armitstead has a collision at the end of the Women's Tour in Aldeburgh - Lizzie celebrating her win seconds before the crashLizzie Armitstead has a collision at the end of the Women's Tour in Aldeburgh - Lizzie celebrating her win seconds before the crash

In the aftermath of the crash yesterday afternoon, an official statement from the Women’s Tour offered some details around the incident, which led to other riders crashing in the aftermath.

The statement said: “After crossing the line with her arms in the air stage winner Lizzie Armitstead appeared to lose control and veer left, clipping photographers positioned beyond the finish line.

“Lizzie was immediately attended to by race medical staff at the finish line who dealt with the incident before being taken to hospital.

“Everyone from the Aviva Women’s Tour wishes Lizzie all the best for a speedy recovery.”

Armitstead was reportedly conscious while paramedics applied a neck brace and attached a drip. She was taken to hospital around 40 minutes after tumbling to the ground.

According to other reports, race director Mick Bennett was also involved in the collision. A spokesman for the Aviva Women’s Tour would not, however, be drawn on whether Mr Bennett was involved in the crash.

An air ambulance landed close to the scene but was not used to convey Armitstead to hospital.

Armitstead officially won stage one in a time of two hours 39 minutes and 53 seconds. German Lisa Brennauer, representing Velocio-SRAM claimed second place and Orica-AIS rider Emma Johansson, of Sweden, crossed the finishing line in third position.

Crash at the finish line of The Women's Cycle Tour in Aldeburgh, involving lead rider Lizzie ArmitsteadCrash at the finish line of The Women's Cycle Tour in Aldeburgh, involving lead rider Lizzie Armitstead

Around half-way during the race, a level crossing in the Suffolk countryside held up the peloton as a train passed, thought to be in Melton.

As a result of the fall, the winner presentations were temporarily postponed, but with Armitstead needing further medical treatment, it was decided to go ahead in her absence.

Her Boels-Dolman teammates accepted her winning jerseys on her behalf – Armitstead won the Aviva Yellow Jersey for being the stage one winner, the blue and white Chain Reaction Jersey for being the top points scorer and the Premier Inn Purple Jersey for being the best British rider of the stage.

Team-mate Romy Kasper said: “We just wish her the very best and hope that she is OK.”

She said that accepting the awards on her team mates’ behalf was extremely difficult, but added: “We do it for her, to support her and we hope that she is OK.”

Meanwhile, the race was overall hailed as a success. It began where the inaugural event last year finished – in Bury St Edmunds at 11am yesterday.

The stellar field featured 94 cyclists, including double Olympic track champion Laura Trott and 11-time Paralympic champion Dame Sarah Storey, who finished in 18th position and 89th position respectively.

Thousands of people lined the streets to provide loud and encouraging support to the world-class line-up of 16 teams taking on the 112.6 kilometres (68.5 miles) first stage of the Women’s Tour.

They rode mainly through Suffolk’s countryside and narrow roads, taking in Stowmarket, Ipswich, Woodbridge and Saxmundham before the final sprint to the finish at Aldeburgh along the coast south from Thorpeness.

A Suffolk Sport spokesman said: “An event of this nature puts women’s sport firmly in the spotlight and demonstrates the power of elite competition to inspire others to get involved.

“Female cycling participation rates are lower than their male counterparts and by hosting an event showcasing the pinnacle of women’s cycling participation, Suffolk is leading the way in terms of raising the profile and inspiring others to get on their bikes.

“If you feel the urge to dust off your bike and take to the road, why not try one of Cycle Suffolk’s ‘Women on Wheels’ events taking place across the county this year? With gentle rides starting from five miles, there’s a distance for everyone.”

Meanwhile, TJ Haworth-Culf, cabinet member with responsibility for customers, community and leisure at Suffolk Coastal, said: “Overall, it was a real success. I would like to thank everyone involved in running this prestigious international cycling event for their hard work and support, including the organisers, volunteers and people who took part in the events.

“Also, a big thank you to the thousands of people who came out and supported the Women’s Tour through Suffolk Coastal. I am very proud of Aldeburgh Business Association and all the schools which took part, especially Aldeburgh Primary School which won the overall school races.

“However, I was really sorry to hear that Lizzie Armitstead was involved in an accident shortly after crossing the finishing line.

“Obviously, looking after Lizzie and the others involved in the crash was our priority immediately after the accident, which did create some disruption for the local people and spectators.

“Although there was some unavoidable inconvenience, I really want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding while the emergency services dealt with the situation. I would also like to wish Lizzie a speedy recovery and hopefully she will soon back to her winning ways.”

But the chairman of the Aldeburgh Business Association, Robert Mabey, said that every effort needed to be taken to avoid a similar incident happening at a later stage of the race.

“It was a fantastic day for the town, the kids had a brilliant time and it was a real shame for all that the incident happened,” he said. “Hopefully a lesson can be learnt from this so that it doesn’t mar another town’s day.

“It’s a huge shame for Lizzie and the other riders who fell. It did put a dampener on the day and she was robbed of her glory.”

See more coverage from The Women’s Tour here

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16 comments

  • Firstly those "idiots" in the road are photographers invited to cover the event and standing where they should have been, they are clearly wearing green bibs and a visible to the cyclists. Secondly as the moving object it is your obligation to miss a stationary one. Lastly riding with no hands on the bars is not going to help you steer round obstacles. My conclusion is that it's an accident that the professional cyclist should have avoided.

    Report this comment

    KeithS

    Friday, June 19, 2015

  • Yes she had her arms in the air,but the fact is those people should not have been allowed on the course,especially as there was a mass sprint for the line and not a lot of space.

    Report this comment

    veggieman46

    Thursday, June 18, 2015

  • Why was she taken to the N&N as it is nearly twice as far from Aldeburgh as Heath Road,

    Report this comment

    martyn elmy

    Thursday, June 18, 2015

  • Woman Falls off bike.Will this affect house prices? Or we could just take a leaf from Norfolk Johns book & blame her for being a woman.

    Report this comment

    JC

    Thursday, June 18, 2015

  • Well, aren't you lot a bunch of miserable buggers! Wishing Lizzie a speedy recovery.

    Report this comment

    em265

    Thursday, June 18, 2015

  • If you watch the BBC footage of this so called ‘accident’ you will see that it is caused solely by this stupid woman lifting both hands off the handlebars after crossing the finishing line and veering off into the small crowd of people standing on the side of the course.

    Report this comment

    Norfolk John

    Thursday, June 18, 2015

  • air ambulance for someone who falls of a bike what a joke

    Report this comment

    newman

    Thursday, June 18, 2015

  • Perhaps the police, lawyers, do holders and any other mamby- pamby will now leave the motorists alone when a cyclist comes of their bike. This accident was on closed roads, no cars about. Just grand standing, no hands, no control. At this level of the sport these cyclists should know that the roads in East Anglia need a vast amount of repair and silly tricks like this was bound to end in tears. Hope the lady concerned is able to continue on Thursday as events like this can only be good for the local economy and this area needs all the influx of visitors it can muster.

    Report this comment

    J.E. WALLACE

    Wednesday, June 17, 2015

  • By the video footage I have seen, it appears that the crash was caused by some idiots walking about on the finishing line, they should never have been allowed to be there.

    Report this comment

    veggieman46

    Wednesday, June 17, 2015

  • You think this is dangerous?you should try walking through Cambridge city centre!

    Report this comment

    cripster

    Wednesday, June 17, 2015

  • That what you get when bad planning on such stupid little roads

    Report this comment

    chris betts

    Wednesday, June 17, 2015

  • Having just seen this on the news, what were those people doing at the finish line? They were on the race course and should not have been there! How stupid! Have the photographers never heard of zoom lens. The organisers have a lot to answer for.

    Report this comment

    andy

    Wednesday, June 17, 2015

  • I am surprised that there where not more incidents particularly in Ipswich. The speed of police motor cyclists and others in orange outfits in Ipswich town centre at lunch time was an absolute disgrace, as was the speed of all the back up vehicles. The local WPC was also surprised that there were no barriers to keep the public safe and there were no warning signs around. With health and safety always being thrown at us, perhaps the organisers should seriously look at such an event in a relative busy town centre before some one is seriously injured. It is no good saying that "We have a rolling road closure order" so that makes it ok!!!

    Report this comment

    George Ipswich

    Wednesday, June 17, 2015

  • Riding non-handed! There's no need for that.

    Report this comment

    Martin

    Wednesday, June 17, 2015

  • Perhaps a prosecution may stop the reckless behaviour of many of these cyclists. What many do not realize is that even with road races they are still in subject to the Highway code & road traffic act

    Report this comment

    BobE

    Wednesday, June 17, 2015

  • OMG no way someone fell off a bike , jeez news must be slow

    Report this comment

    Buxton

    Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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