Alex Paton reflected on the collision with a car which ended his debut Tour de Yorkshire and acknowledged: I’m a lucky man.
The 27-year-old was pacing race leader Harry Tanfield back on to the main bunch following a puncture when he hit a crossover-type vehicle, travelling in the opposite direction, head-on.
Tanfield and Andrew Tennant managed to swerve the incident and later rejoined the peloton for the summit finish on the Cote de Cow & Calf at Ilkley.
Paton, who had been travelling around 50kmph, was forced to retire from the race but escaped, miraculously, with only cuts and bruises from the crash. He said:
“I’m obviously a bit sore. I’m now genuinely able to use the term I feel like I’ve been hit by a car!
“I know I’m a lucky man. Considering the sort of crash, I have done pretty well to be relatively okay.
“We were going down a sweeping right-hand descent, mid-corner and then suddenly there was a car driving towards us.
“I tried to go on the inside, between the barriers and the car, but didn’t quite get there and clipped the front.
“The car was in a bad way. I caught the corner of the bumper, wing, mirror and down the side of the door.
“The poor guy will have quite a bit of work to do. But the important thing is Harry made it back in and so did Tennant. Unfortunately, I didn’t.”
Despite sleeping well on Friday night, Paton’s shoulders, back and both hips remain sore – with the worst of his cuts on his left hip.
However, the Kent-born talent is refusing to rule out racing the opening round of the Tour Series in Redditch on Thursday. Paton said:
“I rolled along quite well, which is probably the thing that saves you really. Otherwise you end up with major cuts.
“My left hip is the worst. It’s not awful but okay. It is the impact which will take some time to heal.
“I would have given it a go today (stage three). Realistically, it wouldn’t have been a sensible option, though.
“The plan now is to get sorted as quickly as possible ahead of the Tour Series. We’ll try to make Redditch on Thursday.”
Paton joins Rory Townsend on the treatment table. Townsend has had surgery on a broken collarbone suffered in training.
He is now stepping up his recovery ahead of an intended debut in the UCI 2.2 Rás Tailteann which begins in Drogheda on Sunday, May 20.
Stage three of the Tour de Yorkshire will see the riders navigate 181km from Richmond to Scarborough.
Tanfield lost the race lead on stage two but retained the green jersey for the points classification.
Click here to check out our stage two gallery by team photographer Hugh McManus.