British woman formally charged in Giant-Alpecin collision

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

© Team Giant-Alpecin
(Image credit: © Team Giant-Alpecin)

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.

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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.

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.