By Mike Rowbottom

Shane Sutton 08-11-12November 8 - British Cycling has called on the Government to urgently improve safety measures for cyclists on the road after Tour de France winner and Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins and British track coach Shane Sutton were hospitalised within 12 hours of each other after two separate road traffic accidents.

Wiggins was released from hospital this afternoon after breaking a rib and finger in a collision with a car close to his home in Lancashire last night, while Sutton was involved in an entirely separate incident this morning on the A6 near Levenshulme.

Sutton (pictured top), who was wearing a helmet when the incident occurred, has suffered severe bruising and bleeding on the brain and is expected to spend the next couple of days in hospital.

"British Cycling has confirmed that Shane Sutton, head coach for the GB Cycling Team, was involved in an incident this morning on the A6 near Levenshulme in Manchester," a spokesperson for British Cycling said.

"Shane was taken into hospital where it was identified he has suffered bruising and bleeding on the brain.

"Shane was wearing a helmet.

"He is set to undergo more tests, and is likely to stay in hospital for the next few days.

"It is extremely rare that our riders and coaches are hurt while out cycling on the road, even rarer that two incidents should occur in a short space of time, and we wish Shane and Bradley a speedy recovery.

"Cycling is not an intrinsically dangerous activity but there is much more to be done to improve conditions for cyclists on the roads.

"British Cycling is calling on the Government to put cycling at the heart of transport policy to ensure that cycle safety is built into the design of all new roads, junctions and transport projects, rather than being an afterthought."

The Wiggins accident occurred on yesterday evening at the village of Wrightington near Wigan, three miles from his home in Eccleston and involved a Vauxhall Astra car.

The 32-year-old was struck on Crow Orchard Road, as a woman driving a white Vauxhall Astra van pulled out of a BP petrol station.

She was heard to say afterwards: "I can't believe it.

"Of all the people to hit, bloody Bradley Wiggins."

o-WIGGINS-CRASH-570A wing-mirror lies at the scene of the Bradley Wiggins crash

Yasmin Smith, 21, an attendant at the garage, said Wiggins had begun to turn blue while he waited for an ambulance to arrive.

"I was in the back room making a cup of tea when I heard the screeching of a tyre and a massive bang," she said.

"I came back through to the front and my mum, who works here too, said to me 'can you go round, a customer said there's been a bad accident.'

"I shot out of the garage and I saw a gentleman sitting on the pavement.

"He was going a bit blue, his colour was changing.

"The wing mirror was cleaned off the van so it must have been at force (that he was hit).

"I put my arm around him and said 'come on back to the car.'

"He was in pain and said 'I think I've broken my ribs.'"

Wiggins' wife Catherine and their two children Ben and Isabella were said to have rushed to the scene after the accident, which happened at around 6pm.

Lancashire Constabulary said the van driver was uninjured and had not been arrested.

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