By Les Clarke
World record holder and Olympic gold medallist Anna Meares has recovered well after an encounter with a hay truck. Riding back from a velodrome session, Meares had to swerve off the road to avoid being swept into the truck's draft. After hitting some loose gravel she went over on her side, injuring her hand, buttocks and knee, which required stiches. "I was a bit sore for a couple of days afterwards, but I'm okay now," Meares said. "I'll get the stitches out on Monday which will be good, because they've hindered my pedalling a little bit."
After the accident, Meares was a little shocked that motorists failed to stop and assist her, eventually receiving help from a passing car. "They saw me on sitting on the side of the road but nobody stopped," said Meares. The 500 m time trial champion at last year's Athens Olympics has also been recovering from a back injury that flared up in July after some days of heavy training. "I've had the injury for about 2-4 years, but because I'm fit and active and rely on bending my back, we had to treat it," explained Meares.
Due to the injury, Meares won't be riding the Moscow round of the World Cup in early November, instead opening her season with the Sydney Thousand on November 27. "Sydney will be a good hitout to see how much gas is in the tank at this stage," she continued. "Then it's straight to the Oceania Games and onto the Manchester round of the World Cup." And in May 2006, wedding bells will ring for Meares when she marry partner Mark in her home town of Rockhampton. "It'll probably end up being big - but more of a party, really," Meares concluded.