Olympian Godfrey in doubt after cycle-car crash

BY TINA LAW
Last updated 05:00 30/01/2010

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Olympic cyclist Hayden Godfrey required arm surgery after being hit by a car in Christchurch.

Godfrey, 31, is recovering at home after the cycle-car crash in Ferry Rd in Woolston on Thursday afternoon.

The accident comes during a row between cyclists and motorists on the safe use of city streets.

Godfrey, a member of the New Zealand track cycling team, had just returned from a World Cup meeting in Beijing.

He is now in doubt for the national track cycling championships in Invercargill on February 10.

Godfrey said he was cycling towards the city when a car travelling towards Sumner turned in front of him.

"I looked down for one second and then I look up and there's a whole faceful of car in front of me," he said.

"There was nowhere to go, nothing to do. I didn't even have time to hit the brakes."

His left elbow went through a passenger-side window and as his body went over the top of the car, his arm was pulled back, causing a horseshoe-shaped gash that went through to muscle.

Surgeons at Christchurch Hospital removed glass and paint chips from the wound.

Godfrey's helmet and three-week-old, $13,000 bicycle, with just 150 kilometres on the clock, were destroyed. His mother, Jeanne, said the car's driver admitted liability , but she did not know if charges would be laid.

Godfrey, who was wearing green and yellow clothes, said he was travelling at about 40kmh and was not sure if the motorist did not see him or misjudged his speed.

On Thursday, a cyclist claimed he was strangled by a passenger in a car that nearly hit him in Dyers Pass Rd in Cashmere.

This followed Christchurch businessman Richard Freeman's online vow to "nail" cyclists with his Hummer. Freeman has since apologised for the remarks.

Godfrey said there was a rift between motorists and cyclists in Christchurch, and understanding was required on both sides.

"The cyclist comes off worst. I'm not saying it's always the motorist's fault. The cyclists have got to obey the rules."

Godfrey said he had ridden internationally, and Canterbury drivers' aggression never ceased to amaze him.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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