Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland Olympic hopeful sent cartwheeling off bike by car urges drivers to take care

Marc Potts in hospital
Marc Potts in hospital
Marc's cracked helmet following his lucky escape
Injuries to his shoulder
Injuries to his leg
Donna Deeney

By Donna Deeney

A cyclist who hopes to compete in the next Olympic Games has urged motorists to be more aware of people on bicycles after he sustained serious injuries in a collision.

Marc Potts (26) from Beragh in Co Tyrone is recovering after he was struck by a driver who said she didn't see him because of the sun as he rode on Dromore Road near Omagh.

Thankfully his injuries - a broken shoulder blade, a deep cut to his head and numerous lacerations and bruising - did not hamper his training for too long.

Mr Potts, who has represented Ireland in world and European championships, is currently continuing his training on a static bike but hopes to be back on the road again in the coming weeks.

He said more cyclists will be out and about now in the better weather, so it was important drivers paid close attention to all road users.

Mr Potts explained: "I was coming down the Dromore Road at the 30mph zone when a car coming in the opposite direction turned in towards a diner.

"The car was coming right at me, she didn't see me but I saw it and swerved. She still hit the back of my bike.

"I cartwheeled over the bike and landed on my back on the pavement.

"The woman stopped, she was very sorry and said she didn't see me because of the sun.

"As well as breaking my shoulder blade, I split my head open quite badly and actually suffered a concussion so it was pretty bad, especially in the middle of my training.

"This is my job - I ride indoor velodrome - and it has been for the past two years and I am trying to qualify for the Olympics.

"It isn't great timing but I hope to be back on the road in the next couple or weeks.

"I already was quite cautious because I had a few close calls before but this really was a bit of a shock.

"I was able to swerve but I wonder if this had happened to an older cyclist if the outcome might have been different.

"We are coming into the summer months and more and more people will be out on the roads so I really would ask motorists to take that extra few seconds and look around them to check if there are cyclists and take care."

Police said they received a report that a cyclist had been struck by a car on the Dromore Road on April 9.

"The incident which involved a white Kia Sportage occurred at around 5pm," they said.

"The male cyclist required treatment at hospital following the collision. The driver of the car was spoken to by police at the scene."

Mr Potts' warning comes a day after a Co Down cyclist left paralysed from the waist down and who remains in "chronic pain" after being hit by a car warned drivers to be more careful.

Mark Millar (38) from Ballygowan suffered a broken spine on June 10 last year when he was halfway through the Ulster 100-mile time trial championships.

He was struck by pastor Elaine Adu (47) from Antrim. She was ordered to complete 80 hours community service and handed a year-long driving ban.

"I really hope this will help raise awareness for the safety of cyclists," Mr Potts added.

"There's a lot of motorists out there that need to wise up and keep their eyes on the road. It was a shocking bit of driving."

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