August 4, 2019 / 2:07 PM / a month ago

Olympic champion Barker breaks collarbone in London crash

Elinor Barker of Britain celebrates on the podium after winning the women juniors under 23 time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Valkenburg September 18, 2012. REUTERS/Michael Kooren (NETHERLANDS - Tags: SPORT CYCLING)

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 defense 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 criticize 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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