FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope rider Aude Biannic says that she's still traumatised after being hit by a car during training. Biannic had been training on her time trial bike on Tuesday near Rennes in northern France when she was struck from behind by a motorist. Since the accident, she has only been on the home trainer, concerned that she may be hit again.
"At first I did not want to talk too much about it, I thought it would not change anything," she told French newspaper Le Telegramme. "But yes, I, too, got hit by a car on Tuesday in training. And I too am doing well ... I only have big aches, but it could have been more dramatic. I am still traumatised: since the accident, I have not been back out.
"I do not want to go on the road. I am scared. The first time I go out to train, I certainly will not go alone. Looking back, I think I was lucky. A few centimetres ... If the person had not braked at all, she would have crushed me. In my misfortune, yes, I had a little luck."
Biannic explained to Le Telegramme that she had only just started her training ride when the car appeared to accelerate into the back of her. "I started training on my time trial bike, and after just five minutes at an intersection, a car came at me from behind," she said.
"I turned to the left, the car that was following me took the same direction. At the end of the intersection, as the light was red, I slowed down while the car accelerated. I still wonder why. She hit me from behind and I fell back. My head hit the ground first. Fortunately, I had my helmet. It had to be going at 30-40 kph. The shock was violent. I have to wear a neck brace for seven days but as the [injured] muscles are more located in the front of the neck and the abdomen, this neck brace doesn't do much for me.
"I still do not understand why she did not see me; I was right in front of her. I did not slalom between the cars."
When will it stop?
Biannic is the latest in a long line of riders whohave been involved in incidents involving vehicles during training. Last month, Michele Scarponi was killed when he was struck by a truck at an intersection near his home. Tour de France champion Chris Froome was hit by a car during training last month, but fortunately escaped serious injury. Wanty-Groupe Gobert's Yoann Offredo was left with a broken nose and rib after being attacked by a motorist while he was out training with friends. Former Moto GP world champion Nicky Haydon also remains in critical condition after being hit by a car while he was riding his bike in Italy.
"On Tuesday evening, a cyclist was also struck in Rennes by a lady who had two grammes of alcohol [in her system]. He was less lucky than Antoine [Benoist] and me, he died. I get the impression that these accidents between motorists and cyclists happen every day. There was also the MotoGP rider [Hayden], Froome ... When will it stop?" Biannic asked.
Asked what needed to be done to prevent more accidents like her own, Biannic said that the authorities needed to take a firmer stance.
"I do not know. I think that the authorities should really take this issue hand in hand," she said. "With a shock campaign of awareness, for example. It cannot last. We cannot do our sport safely anymore… Personally, I was wondering about Tuesday night. Risking your life for a sport. My parents told me to change sports. When they know that I am in training, they are not reassured. I understand them."
Biannic is set to race for the first time since the accident at this Sunday's Coupe de France de Loudéac.