Alicante police charge British woman with imprudence and reckless driving after her car was involved in a collision with the Giant-Alpecin team, injuring six riders


Spanish police in Alicante have charged and released a 73-year-old British woman who was involved in the Giant-Alpecin training crash incident on Saturday. With an investigation currently underway, the police would not release her name.

The incident left six professional cyclists and their bikes scattered and broken on the local road. The scene inland from the Costa Blanca looked like a “battlefield,” according to the team’s Ramon Sinkeldam.

He was injured in the incident with 2015 Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix winner John Degenkolb, Warren Barguil, Chad Haga, Fredrik Ludvigsson and Max Walscheid.

Degenkolb and Haga remain in hospital. The former underwent surgery on his arm and hand to save his finger and Haga had surgery on his neck and chin and faces more work on an eye socket fracture.

>>> “The group panicked, a car came straight at us, there was a lot of shouting”

On the sunny Saturday afternoon, the woman crossed from the opposite side of the CV-720 provincial road leading to Alicante, near Benigembla, and collided with the cyclists head on. A source working on the investigation said that she was driving a British-style car with the steering wheel on the right side.

Alicante police charged her with imprudence and reckless driving but said that the charges could yet change.

Though not releasing her name, police explained that the woman lives in Spain six months of the year and six months at home in Great Britain. Guardia Civil de Tráfico de Alicantes said in a brief statement: “We can’t released information with the investigation open.”

  • Reg Oakley

    It is a shame that the UK didnt go for driving on the right hand side of the road back in the 1960s when Sweden went through the change from Left Hand to Right Hand driving. I have seen one head on crash in Kent involving a Dutch driver on the wrong side and I expect there are more. The changes needed now to our road infrastructure would be horrifically expensive. The UK sadly missed the boat on this one.

  • Robbie

    I recall a friend driving over the Montgo to Javia in Spain and a cyclist came round the corner at speed on the wrong side of he road. My friend immediately stopped his car, and the cyclist hit it. Not much damage to his car, but the cycle was damaged and the rider slightly hurt. These guys are all over the east coast of Spain and need to be avoided. Moreover they are arrogant and an unfriendly lot.

  • Robbie

    Quite close to where the accident happened, I was on a very narrow road on Saturday, and met about 10 cyclists who were riding about 3/4 abreast. I had to almost stop the car to ensure I did not hit them. To be honest, I’m surprised to date no one has been killed.

  • Jamie James

    well I’ve just turned 60 and would have no problem with my driving competency being tested at 70. In this day and age it should really be compulsory, it’s not just cyclists who are at risk.

  • Jay

    That’s quite a good idea and I think there are similar products or prototypes made by cycle clothing companies but the demand is not there. I’m a MAMIL with two young kids and I enjoy riding a lot but I’m always afraid of ending up in a nasty crash that could easily be avoided using MTB style protection. So despite what others think and say, I pad up using MTB under shorts with hip protection and shoulder pads underlayer, especially on wet roads. I definitely prefer to ride smart than to ride cool or tough.

  • bowwow rapha

    They should also develop some yogic way of hitting your shelf just before dimpact, lighten the load, but desk kid marks would be thirty metres at least!!

  • Chuck

    I’ve often wondered if a few strips of kevlar in the shorts over the hip area would reduce some of the horrific road rash that you often get from high speed slides on the asphalt. It would not even be visble.

  • earth

    This is why driving licenses should last for 5 years before a refresher test is taken to renew the license.

  • Karl219

    I think you’re right. Though I’ve found when I drive my car, it’s close to 100% of car drivers who won’t say hi back to me. I can’t tell whether they are golfers too. I’m too far away to see if they’re wearing Callaway.

  • David Chadderton

    Thanks for agreeing that you are a misogynist, and, that is not complimentary.

  • David Chadderton

    Sorry Tim, this I just being rude for no good reason.

  • Odd Bloke

    So to summarize, An old lady was having surgery performed on her at a Segovia gig when a Giant wearing Lycra crashed into her Honda near Alicante? Which one’s the illegal immigrant? I’m a bit lost now. wtf??

  • David Chadderton

    Thank you Tim.

    Wikipedia – “Idiot In psychology, it is a historical term for the state or condition now called profound intellectual disability.”
    I am delighted that you are an expert in psychological diagnosis. Unfortunately, such a conclusion was drawn from insufficient evidence, and coincides with the earlier conclusion that describes every single female vehicle driver in the whole world.

    Such a brain should obviously get outdoors more and meet a wider variety of people.

    Yours faithfully,
    Professor David

  • Tim packer

    Idiots like you ..

  • Craig Pickersgill

    Silly old fool! Use your buspass!!

  • Michael

    I read it that he suggested “sun in the eyes” was the lame excuse. Singular rather than plural.

    Donald Trump plays golf doesn’t he? Not the best advertisement for nice. I’ve generally found the vast majority of cyclists nod or wave around here.

    The routes I ride tend to be rural and hence most of the cyclists are there for fun or fitness. Dunno what the commuters are like.

  • Are you seriously playing the #notallbritish card? we drive worse than the Spaniard.

  • Jay

    Thanks. I seriously think they should develop padded cycle ware that is both lightweight and aerodynamic. Any protection is better than just Lycra. For those that thinks it’s not cool or macho, I’ll rather ride smart than to spend a few days in hospital and re telling a crash to your mates and feeling all tough about it.

  • getoverit

    Do you wait until you get home? Just kidding.

  • getoverit

    Hi..isn’t a British immigrant abroad really a British emmigrant?

  • getoverit

    He suggested that those would be the usual excuses…did you read his whole comment Ps..I’ve noticed cyclist are not really the friendliest group going. I find golfers to be much nicer. Did you ever notice that 90% of fellow cyclists won’t say hi back to you when you meet them on the road?

  • David Chadderton

    Ouch! You are entitled to your own opinion of course. Maybe you don’t have any female friends or acquaintances? Maybe you could have a look at the new Top Gear girl driver Sabine Schmitz who drove a Ford Transit around the Nürburgring (Nordschleife) in 10 minutes. If you dare?

    Are there any other groups in society that you have a strong opinion on?
    Best of luck with your opinion choice.

  • Beverycool

    Well at least she didn’t kill them – hope they all make a speedy recovery!

  • jason wright

    i don’t think it should be lawful to live in a country for that length of time and drive a car designed for driving on the other side of the road. it has to have contributed to the accident in some way.

  • Tim packer

    David chadderton!! Like I said a woman driver absolutely typical of ANY women driver.. Women are bad drivers big deal get over it mate

  • Michael

    Except, young drivers are worse and cause more accidents. By a long way.

    You have to be over 85 before you become as much of a liability on the road as a young driver.

    So, if you want to make the road safer, stop using it now – and maybe think about driving again when you’re in your 50s.

    Moot anyway, the path ahead is clear, we will slowly get rid of all human drivers over the next few decades.

  • Michael

    Well yeah, they ride a lot faster.

    Being in a group too there are people and bikes flying everywhere. So you crash into the ground at 30mph and then the people behind you run into you at 30mph.

    That said, there’s a kind of myth – often perpetuated by the buffoons who jump red lights or break other road rules – that being hit by a bike or falling off a bike doesn’t hurt or cause serious injuries. It can and often does.

  • Michael

    “.possibly got confused and started driving on the incorrect side of the road?”

    Did you not actually read past the headline?

  • Paul Kendall

    Or maybe she just doesn’t like cyclists!

  • Josh Tambini

    Pick your prejudice folks! Did the person drive into Giant-Alpecin because they’re:
    a) Over retirement age
    b) A woman
    c) British
    d) A car driver
    e) All of the above

  • Marc Debenham

    Mr Cameron like to lump all our immigrants together so it is only fair we are treated the same elsewhere

  • David Chadderton

    Oooh, sexist and judgemental. A misogynist?

  • David Chadderton

    Probably, cyclists are in more danger of being shot than run down by a Texan.

  • David Chadderton

    I’ll try to remember not to drive an accord(ion).

  • Niall Murphy

    I am 65 and a very careful and considerate driver especially to cyclists and pedestrians. I think that “terrible and dangerous drivers” are of all ages and unfortunately young drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents injuring both themselves and others. Lets see how you feel when you reach 65, will you be handing over your licence? An ageist ill informed rant like yours reveals an impetuous unthinking and over reactive nature which might indicate that you should not be driving!

  • Mike Prytherch

    Good idea, because people younger than 65 never have accidents

  • Ronbo2571

    Segovia was still performing at 90, I know of surgeons in their late 60’s and quite a few doddery youngsters.
    You clearly think 65 is old.It may be for someone like you.

  • David Chadderton

    Be more selective who you allow to drive for you.

  • David Chadderton

    Not all British migrants overseas behave like that. I don’t.

  • David Chadderton

    Thanks. I am a 72 year-young racing cyclist and driver.

  • dannybuoy

    Yeah, close shaves, as in their cars were so close they almost shaved the hair off my legs with their cars! I’m talking about cycling not driving. They looked at me, saw me coming at around 15-18mph around a big roundabout, turn their heads and just pull out. It’s scary when you’re on a bike and they’re in a car! I wish I was like this guy and just not give a crap

  • J1

    If my reactions get as bad as some of the old people I’ve seen and driven with, then yes, because I wouldn’t want to kill anyone.

  • J1

    Some of them are shocking.

  • J1

    Ehh nope, the boy racers are just as bad actually. Raising the driving age to 18 would be a start.

  • dv500

    I spend a fair bit of time in Spain and have to say the local drivers are great with cyclists, yes they are quick but they pass with plenty of space The Brits however in general are terrible drivers. They try to drive as they did in Britain failing completely to adapt to local driving behaviours. Of course this is a broad generalisation and there are many excellent British drivers in Spain but whenever you see a middle lane hog or somebody holding up a queue of traffic panic braking at every corner it will be a Brit. The Spanish see it as impolite to hold up the progress of others. The Spanish seem to have far better observation and anticipation skills and quicker reactions. They are just more alert.
    Having said that, I find it far easier to drive a LHD car on the continent. The steering wheel reminds you that you drive on the right. With a RHD car it is far too easy to pull out of a layby onto the wrong side. I have seen drivers with many years of experience driving on the continent do this.

  • Crydda

    Maybe they misjudged your speed, because you were driving too quickly, probably well over the speed limit, but of course I have no idea.
    However, you state you’ve had a few close shaves in the last year or so – I’ve been driving for more than forty years and haven’t have a ‘close shave’ for more than twenty; so maybe your anticipation skills, or defensive driving techniques lack something.

  • Crydda

    As opposed to young men aged between 18 and 25, who statistically are far more likely to cause an accident than drivers over twenty five; with inexperience, lack of attention, excessive speed, faulty vehicles, late night driving and over confidence, being the chief causes (according to the British insurance association).
    I’ll hazard a guess that you’re probably still much too young to drive (or too immature for it to be desirable) and that mummy doesn’t know you’re using her laptop.

  • Texas Roadhouse

    Over here it’s age and Mercury Grand Marquis (as well as the usual redneck prick-up drivers)

  • Texas Roadhouse

    Let us know when you surrender your licence voluntarily on turning 65 – oh, wait – I’ll bet you have a change of heart then. And why would you use “**” in the word “folks”?

  • Tim packer

    Typical woman driver! They don’t have a clue

  • Mike Prytherch

    What a stupid comment, let’s face it drivers under 65 never make mistakes or injure cyclists, why don’t you check on the stats and see the average driver age of accidents, based upon the naivety and childishness of this comment I suspect you would be banning yourself.

  • Derek Biggerstaff

    I’ve got my bus pass, I still ride the track league, and I bet I’d kick your ass.

  • dannybuoy

    I guess so. There is something inexplicably dangerous about an elderly gent in a Honda Accord

  • Malaprop

    so the common factors are age and japanese cars

  • Malaprop

    Prosecution will be necessary to take the license off her.

  • dannybuoy

    Of the few close shaves I’ve had in the last year of so, the two worst ones were an older woman in a Japanese car and an older man in a Japanese car pulling out right in front of me even though they saw me coming, seemed to pause to let me pass then pull out last second. They were completely oblivious to what they’d done. I’m guessing slow reactions and anticipating speed are the main factors. This is kind of anecdotal and people of all ages cause accidents and incidents. Let’s hope they recover quickly.

  • MR T

    Yeah fool. Why stop there though? Euthanize the old fool while you’re at it, no?

    In fact, if anyone ever makes a mistake again, at anything, bullet to the head, right?

    Wrong! You’re a díckhead.

  • Paul Kendall

    I am a British Immigrant abroad, I work with pro-cycling teams, Please don’t lump us all into the same bag – these retirees that live in and around Benidorm are not residents, they’re just holidaymakers on a 6 month break.

    Giant Alpecin trained with us here in Cambrils for the last few years, we don’t have the pensioner holiday makers here, so the roads are much safer and emptier.

    Our thoughts are with the riders and their families at this time.

  • richard

    Your missing something! They have been hit by a car head on… id say they have got away fairly lightly! And yes when have you heard of a crash of a “mere mortal” hitting the deck at speeds up to 100k not leading to serious injury.. Add to that that there often in a huge tight bunch….

  • Poptart242

    Well they’re not. There are plenty of crashes in just about every race, the TDU had about 5 that I’m aware of. These are the serious ones that we’re hearing about – Malori decked it at 30mph+ and then had a peloton ride into him for example.

  • J1

    They do everything much faster and most people don’t go racing with 150 other riders around them.

  • Carfanatic

    Bloody british immigrants abroad! If they aren’t causing mayhem through drunken behaviour, they are injuring a pro-cycling team. Hope all get well, and the old bat loses her licence!

  • Jay

    Im sort of bewildered and cannot comprehend why some bike crashes involved with the pro peloton could be so horrific and serious compared to the everyday crashes encountered by us mere mortals. Like Malori was in a medically induced coma after he crashed hitting a pothole at the TdSL!! Is it purely the speed involved or am I missing something?

  • Jay Kay

    73…possibly got confused and started driving on the incorrect side of the road????…or maybe the sun was in her eyes….that’s the usual lame excuse…I hope the G-A riders can make full recoveries…take the license off the old biddy….prosecute if necessary…

  • Mark Jones

    Great! So we have the pleasure of her on our roads for 6 months of the year! It’s a disgrace and she should be banned from driving.