The 73-year-old world has been formally charged with crimes relating to the incident at a training camp in Spain

The British woman who collided with six Giant-Alpecin cyclists in training this winter in Alicante, Spain, has been formally charged by local police. The German team of John Degenkolb and the Guardia Civil police are listed in the case.

The unnamed 73-year-old drove head-on into Degenkolb, winner of last year’s Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix, and five of his Giant-Alpecin teammates on January 23 near Alicante, Spain.

The German sprinter suffered a fractured forearm and nearly lost his left index finger. American Chad Haga fractured his eye socket, Max Walscheid his tibia and thumb.

“We all could have died,” said Frenchman Warren Barguil, who broke his left scaphoid. Teammates Fredrik Ludvigsson and Ramon Sinkeldam were also involved.

Only Søren Kragh Andersen escaped being hit by the car being driven down the opposite lane towards the cyclists.


Watch: A day in the life of Giant-Alpecin


“The Court of Instruction Number 1 of Dénia has opened an injuries case for the crime of recklessness,” read a statement received by Cycling Weekly. “The case centres on the driver of the vehicle as investigated (formerly charged). The court is awaiting forensic reports.”

Cycling Weekly understands both the Guardia Civil police and Giant-Alpecin are listed in the case against the woman. Police explained at the time that she lives six months of the year in Spain and six months at home in Great Britain.

She crossed from the opposite side of the CV-720 provincial road leading to Alicante, near Benigembla, and collided with the group of cyclists returning from a training ride. She was driving a British-style car with the steering wheel on the right side, according to someone working on the investigation.

The police released and charged her with imprudence and recklessness, charges formalised today.

Degenkolb is only able to start his season this May 1 in Germany’s Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt. Walscheid has yet to announce his return date. Haga, Barguil, Ludvigsson and Sinkeldam have all began racing again.

  • T-dog

    dumb b***h

  • Glad to hear it John. I read and hear too many stories from people who know regular drunk drivers, but do nothing to stop them. That’s the main reason imho this problem still continues.

  • John Schofield

    Yes you are correct whilst I was in Spain I drove and only drank sans alcohol so she didn’t have to drive. She is part of an expat community that seems to consider drink driving normal. I am saddened by this and is one reason that I don’t think I will ever live in Spain. If someone tried to drive me when drunk I would and have taken their keys away and ordered a taxi.

  • John doesn’t sound like you informed the appropriate authorities about this woman. If this is a regular thing she does, you’d be almost as culpable if she caused an accident.

  • SK

    What I’ve read indicates lady had some 100’s of metres sight of riders
    before proceeding which suggests she is psychopathic, which from
    experience I would guess inflicts 10-20% of people driving and should be
    tested for.

  • John Schofield

    I know a woman who could have done this she is drunk most of the time her idea of a good time is drinking as many 1 euro beer and tapas she can then drives home to drink some more…….

  • Chris

    ……. and inexperienced.

  • susan wilde

    Young drivers abroad are as likely as anyone older to set off on the wrong side, I did it when I was in my 20s. … far less likely now I am more experienced at driving on the continent … but Alex’s point about driving only cars with wheels on the “right” side is the daftest thing EVER .. my holidays abroad with my own car and own bikes on the roof would be rendered impossible .. and what would it do for our tourist industry?

  • Chris

    ……. and inexperienced.

  • llos25

    Who happen to be young.

  • richard

    So no more foreign holidays for millions of people then!

  • ummm…

    69!!!! sweeeeeeet. Im gonna make that joke a lot when I’m 69. While my statement stinks of ageism, I’m not trying to apply this straight across the board. Some 73 year olds are spry – some forget what country they are in. Can a 30 something make a similar mistake? Sure. Do we believe it is as likely? No. Do I have statistical proof? No. But I can make some very compelling arguments based on experience, knowledge, and ability to BS.

  • Rudyard Josef Lim Ganuelas

    The correct answer is idiot drivers.

  • graham

    I am not sticking up for this woman she probably does need prosecuting, but I cant agree with all these comments about older drivers. Just answer me this question who causes the majority of multiple fatal accidents older drivers or young drivers.

  • Jay Kay

    So how does that work for professional drivers…HGV/BUS, etc…

  • mike dodge

    I’m 69 and 73 isn’t very old. It certainly isn’t an excuse for inattentive driving.

  • Pedal Er

    So no foreign lorries on the roads over here. Right.

  • Weccy

    Throw the book at her. Irrelevant that she took out so many riders of a cycling team, devastating as that is, she is obviously incompetent driving on these roads. Get well soon all Giant Alpecin cyclists affected,

  • ummm…

    justice is blind, but it is sad to see a 73 year old in jail.

  • ummm…

    a 73 year old?

  • WillMondy

    We should have compulsory re-tests every 5 years for all drivers and have a medical and re-test every 2 years over a certain age (65 or 70?)

  • Butty

    She’d better hope that her insurers will be covering the physical damage to the guys but also the consequential losses for the team

  • ian franklin

    Not really Alex. You should drive with care and attention whichever side your steerer is on. I’ve drive 1000’s of miles in France with a Brit car – never ever had a problem.

  • Alex

    You should only be allowed to drive vehicles with the steering wheel on the correct side for that country in which you are driving. Nevertheless this woman was clearly dangerous. Jail her and throw away the key.