August 4, 2019 / 1:40 PM / 14 days ago

Cycling: Olympic champion Barker breaks collarbone in London crash

Cycling - UCI Track World Championships - Women's Points Race, Final - Hong Kong, China – 16/4/17 - Elinor Barker of Britain poses with gold medal. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Olympic champion Elinor Barker has confirmed she suffered a broken collarbone in a high-speed pile-up at the end of the women’s Ride London Classique in London on Saturday.

Barker, part of the British women’s team pursuit squad that won gold on the track in Rio in 2016, was brought down during the sprint to the line near Buckingham Palace.

“They say you’re not a real cyclist until you’ve broken a collarbone — avoided joining the club for 15 years but not much I could do yesterday,” she posted on Twitter.

Barker, 24, was riding for British road team Drops.

Dutchwoman Kirsten Wild, winner of the race in 2018, crossed the line first but was disqualified after inadvertently causing the mayhem. Lorena Wiebes (Parkhotel Valkenburg) was promoted to first place.

Barker jumped to the defence of Wild, who received online criticism for her part in the smash.

“A bit upsetting to see comments aimed at Kirsten though,” she said. “It’s easy to criticise from a slow-mo aerial shot.

“The real-time reality is that everybody is just hoping that their split-second decision benefits themselves without harming anybody else. Race accidents happen.”

Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Clare Fallon

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