Legendary cyclist Brian Robinson - the first Briton to finish the Tour de France - has been admitted to hospital after a collision with a car while on his bike.

The veteran road racer, 83, was cycling with friends when he was hit by a car just three miles from his Mirfield home.

Emergency services were called to Lees Hall Road in Thornhill Lees at around 1.20pm yesterday and rushed Robinson to hospital where he is being treated for a suspected broken collar bone and cuts and bruises.

Keen cyclist and Mirfield councillor Martyn Bolt said: “He was descending a road when the collision happened. He has suffered multiple bruises and lacerations and what looks like a broken collar bone. Skin and blood came off.

“Your leg is one of the place that is hurt when you are hit and bounce across the road, but unlike many cyclists on the Tour de France, he hasn’t got as much padding as some of the younger ones.

“We don’t know how long he will be in hospital for, but we are hoping he will be back on his bike before too long. He likes to go out twice a week to keep fit and spend time with his friend. Inactivity is not something that sits well with him. It has obviously really shaken the family up.”

He said the cyclist’s wife Audrey dashed to his bedside at the surgical assessment unit at Pinderfields Hospital after hearing the news.

Robinson was a trailblazer for British cycling on the continent, becoming the first Briton to finish the Tour de France in 1955 and the first to win a stage in 1958.

He was an ambassador for the hugely successful Yorkshire leg of the Tour de France, which saw millions of fans line the county’s streets to cheer on the world’s best cyclists earlier this month.

 

Clr Bolt said the crash should be a warning to drivers to look out for cyclists.

He said: “With the legacy of the Tour de France coming to Britain more cyclists will be on their bikes and they can go quite fast.

“Bradley Wiggins was knocked off his bike near his home, and now a Tour de France pioneer has been knocked off his bike just three miles from his home.

“Drivers must be cautious. I would urge everybody to take a couple of seconds to make sure they are not putting somebody’s husband, father or son in jeopardy.”

Gary Verity, the man behind Yorkshire’s Tour de France bid, said on Twitter yesterday: “Thoughts & prayers tonight for Brian Robinson please.”

Former British cycling Olympic gold medallist Chris Boardman, who won three stages of the Tour de France and wore the yellow jersey on three occasions, tweeted: “Wishing Brian Robinson a speedy recovery.”

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