Dame Sarah Storey collided with a woman and a child during the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix in Croydon on Tuesday night. Storey was taking part in the third round of the series in South London, and turned a tight corner at speed only to be confronted by a woman and boy who had appeared to have somehow navigated around the race barriers and were walking on the course.
Multiple Paralympic champion Storey took to Twitter to describe the incident: “Bit battered after exiting the fastest corner on the circuit and being confronted by a woman trying to cross the course with her young son,” Storey wrote.
“Had nowhere to go and ended up hitting them but worse was the woman shoved her boy towards me when he was trying to run for safety.”
A video emerged on YouTube on Wednesday showing the aftermath of the incident, with the child visibly upset and Storey nursing injuries. In the footage, a second woman can also be seen running across the road during the race. The video has since been removed.
After receiving messages from other Twitter users in reaction to her original explanatory tweets, Storey added: “It happened all round the course by people annoyed they weren’t able to use their ‘usual’ route. This put riders and staff at great danger. No one wants to hit a spectator, let alone a child. The scary thing was the camera bike which could have hit someone too.”
All parties appeared to leave the collision with very minor injuries, and Storey completed the race in 10th place.
Cycling Weekly witnessed a couple of incidents where members of the public were angry at not being able to cross roads while the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix and Pearl Izumi Tour Series were on. There were several well-marshalled and sign-posted crossing points along the fully-barriered course, but one man was angrily explaining to a marshal that he had to walk a hundred metres down the road to use the crossing point on his way to the railway station. Another woman was visibly upset that her bus was not running along its usual route due to the event.
Despite those incidents, the vast majority of people in Croydon appeared happy to watch the event, with many people taking advantage of the high rise buildings around the race course to watch the action from a good vantage point.