Rachel Atherton Injury update

Littermag got a video of the whole accident story, check it below.

Here’s more news from the Santa Cruz Sentinel

CORRALITOS – A world champion cyclist was recovering Monday after she hit a pickup head-on and dislocated her shoulder about a mile into a training ride Sunday afternoon.

Rachel Atherton, a 21-year-old from Great Britain, was biking northbound in the southbound lanes of Amesti Road just south of Browns Valley Road when the crash occurred, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Atherton, who won the elite UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Championship in June, had just started a 14-mile loop with her brothers and teammates, Dan and George Atherton. Apparently, she drifted into the wrong lane while rounding a corner and came into the path of a southbound 1999 Ford Ranger pickup, the CHP reported.

“I was head-down pedaling at the start of the ride, not more than a minute in when I looked up and saw a truck,” Atherton said. “Automatically (I) swerved to avoid it, but the driver swerved the same way and before I knew it we were too close to avoid each other, so I braced to take some of the impact.”

Atherton hit the windshield on the passenger side of the pickup, shattering the glass into a spider-web pattern.

She dislocated her shoulder and suffered cuts to her head and face, and was flown to San Jose Medical Center for treatment. Monday, she was scheduled to see a specialist about her shoulder injury, according to Dan Brown, the manager of the her team, Animal Commencal.

Apparently, Atherton’s new Cervelo road bike took the brunt of the damage, Brown wrote in a posting on the team’s Web site.

“I feel so lucky that I didn’t come off any worse than I did,” Atherton said. “There was a lot of blood and cuts but it is not too bad.”

The CHP reported she was not wearing a helmet. However, CHP officer Hugh Holden pointed out cyclists over 18 are not required to wear a helmet even though most serious cyclists choose to use the safety equipment.

The crash remains under investigation.

Holden said it appears Atherton was at fault for the collision, but said it was unlikely she would be cited for riding on the wrong side of the road.

“She’s the one that made the error. She’s the one that got hurt. To add insult to injury, we don’t normally issue a citation,” Holden said.

Atherton has been in Santa Cruz with her brothers training since the beginning of the year. She is preparing for the mountain biking World Cup Series, which begins in April.

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