Paralympic cyclist Simon Richardson critical after hit-and-run

Double gold medalist suffered spine fractures in Bridgend crash

Simon Richardson poses with his gold medal for his win in the men's 1km time trial at the 2008 Paralympics

A motorist has been arrested over a hit-and-run crash which left British Paralympic champion cyclist Simon Richardson in a critical condition in hospital.

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The incident happened on the A48 near Bridgend, Wales at 9.40am yesterday. The vehicle involved – a small white van – failed to stop and continued east in the direction of Cowbridge. A 59-year-old man from Cowbridge was later arrested and remains in custody.

Richardson, 44, was taken to University of Wales Hospital, Cardiff, by air ambulance, where he’s undergoing treatment. One of his sponsors, Phil Jones, told BikeRadar he has suffered significant injuries, including a double fracture of the spine, a double pelvis break, a broken breast bone, severe lacerations to his legs and a deflated lung. He is currently being assessed before going into theatre.

South Wales police are appealing for witnesses to the incident, which occurred outside Crack Hill House, Bridgend. Anyone with information should contact their Roads Policing Unit on 02920 633438 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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Richardson was seriously injured in 2001 when he was in collision with a car while out with his cycling club. He started cycling again on the advice of doctors, using a specially adapted bike powered by his right leg. After bringing home two golds and one silver medal on the track at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, he was made an MBE for services to disabled sport.