VIDEO: Bookwalter crashes out of the Tour of Britain
BMC Racing's hopes dashed as riders, including Brent Bookwalter, slam into car mistakenly parked on route. Bookwalter taken to hospital
Video has emerged of riders hitting a parked car on stage 4 of the Tour of Britain in the town centre of Retford.
Several riders were seen slamming into the vehicle who didn't have a chance to avoid it, after coming out of a tight turn.
BMC racing team confirmed that Bookwalter was taken to hospital. No news as to the extent of his injuries just yet.
The riders came hurtling past the town's square to a rapturous reception from the hundreds of people lining the road, but as they turned the sharp bend into Grove Street, and riders smashed into the back of a parked car.
About ten riders were then caught up in the pile-up. An ambulance, police and other race officials all rushed to the scene of the crash.
Mike Barker was watching it all unfold.
He said: "About 50 bikes came round and then someone went through the window of the parked car.
"There was a huddle of bikes piled up afterwards with 3 or 4 on the floor and they were trying to get them up and then the ambulance came."
The car window was shattered with glass strewn across the road."
A post on the Tour of Britain official blog said: "A number of BMC riders seem to have come off worst there including Brent Bookwalter."
One witness of the accident said: “About four or five of them came round the corner onto Grove Street and all piled into the back of a parked car outside Topkapi – one went through the back windscreen of the car.
“It was shocking to see – he’s lucky to be alive.”
“I can’t believe someone was allowed to park there – it’s madness, It’s in a disabled bay and there was a marshall in place but at the speed they were going they couldn’t have stopped it happening.
Another eyewitness, who did not want to be named, said: "He hit the car and bounced off it - those parked cars just should not have been there."
An ambulance worker said one rider, who is believed to be Bookwalter, sustained a three inch deep gash to his right upper arm - but the other riders caught up in the smash escaped relatively unscathed.
Bookwalter was carried to the ambulance on a stretcher and sat upright, the crowds burst into a spontaneous round of applause realizing his injuries weren't anymore serious.
Sports director, Valerio Piva, commented: “It was a stressful day because there was a lot of wind and 15 kilometrs after the point where [an earlier]crash happened, there was an important point, and we were ready and up at the front of the bunch waiting for that. But then, unfortunately, we came out of the corner, and there was a car parked in the wrong position, and some guys crashed. We had four guys involved: Brent Bookwalter, Silvan Dillier, Ben Hermans and Joey Rosskopf."
"Brent came out of it worst and was taken to the hospital, but for now, it looks okay. The rest of the guys were able to get back on the bike and did a good job to bring Silvan back to the bunch in particular.”
He added: “We will now look ahead to the time trial, and everyone is motivated. We have a good group of riders able to do a good job tomorrow. Overall, this parcours is not really on our side but we were ready to do something today, and it is just a shame about the crash.”
UPDATE: From Brent in Hospital
Super bummed to end @thetourofbritain like this. Thankfully, I'm ok and feel blessed to be no worse off. Thank you for all the inquiries and well wishes, inspiring to know you are all looking out for me! Thank you also to the incredible race medical crew (best I've experienced in a race) and @bmcproteam for taking such good care of me. They made a scary and confusing experience easier to handle from the race doctor all the way to the paramedics who took me to the hospital. I'm very disappointed to abandon the race, especially from an incident that likely could have been avoided with more pro active safety measures. Right now, my focus is on recovering and letting my body and head heal.
VIDEO: Tour of Britain Peloton Slams into Packed Car