Kiwi cyclist injured in hit and run

DAVID LONG
Last updated 14:09 30/06/2012
Michael Torckler
JONATHAN CAMERON/Fairfax NZ
IMPROVING: Michael Torckler has been moved from critical to intense condition in hospital.

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New Zealand professional cyclist Michael Torckler has been the victim of a hit and run incident in California, USA this morning and was rushed to hospital in critical condition.

Torckler, who races for New Zealand's Pure Black Racing team, had competed in the Tour de Beauce in Canada earlier in this month and was training alone in America when he was hit by a car.

The 26-year-old from New Plymouth has made some improvement in hospital, but is still in a serous condition.

Pure Black Racing business director Greg Cross confirmed the accident.

"Michael has been seriously injured in a collision with a car in California this morning when he was out training," Cross said.

"Apparently it was a hit and run accident. Initially he was taken to hospital in critical condition, but I have just heard that there has been some improvement and he has moved from critical to intense. Obviously it is still very early days though.

"That's about all we know at this stage and our thoughts are with Mike and his family at this point in time."

Cross said his family have been hastily making arrangements to get to America as quickly as they can.

"His family have all been informed and are in the process of travelling to California to be with him," he said.

Cross said Torckler is a rider with immense talent and has already had more than his fair share of bad luck.

"He is a hugely talented rider and a guy who has in the past 12 months already made a comeback from a nasty accident.

"Last year he smashed his knee and was out of cycling all of last year."

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