Lauren Dolan says 'punishment braking' caused collision which put her in hospital

The road and track rider was hospitalised 48 hours after World Championships medal

(Image credit: NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Lauren Dolan has said that the crash which left her hospitalised 48 hours after earning Great Britain a World Championships medal was caused by "punishment braking" from a driver.

The 20-year-old was riding in Devon days after forming a part of the team which claimed bronze in the inaugural World Championships mixed team time trial relay when the incident occurred.

She was taken to hospital, later revealing her injuries included a broken collarbone and "substantial" soft tissue damage.

Posting on social media on Monday evening, around a week after the incident which took place on Tuesday September 24, the road and track rider alleged that the driver carried out "a horrible act with malicious intent to harm a cyclist."

Devon Live reported that police were seeking witnesses following the incident which took place between Teignmouth and Dawlish.

It all happened days after Dolan teamed up with Anna Henderson, Joscelin Lowden, John Archibald, Dan Bigham and Harry Tanfield to take the third step in the first event of its kind, behind the Netherlands and Germany.

Dolan, who stunned crowds when she completed the junior Worlds in 2017 despite a heavy crash which left her with a deep lacerations, commented on the recent turn of events, saying: "A lot can change in 48 hours. Sunday 22nd, the best feeling I’ve had so far in my cycling career; 48 hours later, I’m lying in hospital, feeling completely devastated."

Describing the incident, she detailed her account of the ride with her father the following Tuesday.

"Nearing the end of the ride, we encountered a frustrated driver, beeping on his horn behind us whilst riding single file. The man wasn’t able to pass immediately due to oncoming traffic on the other side of the road.

"To seemingly display his frustration/anger for the hold up, he passed us with inches to spare.

"As soon as the driver was directly in front of us at 45kph on a descent and with feet to spare the driver slammed his breaks on. I’ve learnt since that the police have a phrase for it - 'punishment braking.'

"Having nowhere to go I tried to squeeze down the outside of the car between a traffic island and the car with my front wheel centimetres from the car. Needless to say my back wheel just clipped the island throwing me over the top of the bike. The car sped off. "

Dolan required surgery on her left shoulder and has a broken collarbone, but said she will be back training soon and is looking forward to the 2020 season.

Dolan says the driver has been found, but denies the allegations. She added: "without camera footage or independent witnesses it’s going to be difficult to bring charges to the individual."

"This type of behaviour is becoming all to familiar on our roads. It has become a culture that needs addressing and time for change is long overdue," she said.

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan
Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is Cycling Weekly's Tech Editor, and is responsible for managing the tech news and reviews both on the website and in Cycling Weekly magazine.

A traditional journalist by trade, Arthurs-Brennan began her career working for a local newspaper, before spending a few years at Evans Cycles, then combining writing and her love of bicycles first at Total Women's Cycling and then Cycling Weekly. 

When not typing up reviews, news, and interviews Arthurs-Brennan is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 190rt.

She rides bikes of all kinds, but favourites include a custom carbon Werking road bike as well as the Specialized Tarmac SL6. 

Height: 166cm

Weight: 56kg

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