Britain's Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins is released from hospital after a collision with a vehicle in Lancashire.

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Wiggins, 32, was thrown off his bike when a white Vauxhall Astra Envoy is thought to have pulled out of a petrol station and collided with him.

A police source said his injuries from the crash were initially thought to be very serious, but later it appeared he was suffering from a number of broken ribs and cuts and bruises.

The accident happened at about 6pm on Wednesday in Wrightington, Lancashire, close to his family home in Eccleston. The four-time Olympic champion is known to train regularly around the area's rural roads. A local woman behind the wheel of the Astra was uninjured.

"Police were called to the scene of a road traffic accident at Crow Orchard Road in Wrightington at about 6pm this evening," a Lancashire Police spokesman said last night.

"A cyclist has been involved in a collision with a white Vauxhall Astra car. The rider of the bike, a 32-year-old local man, was taken to hospital by ambulance with injuries not thought to be life-threatening. His family have been told."

Collision investigators visited the scene but the road did not need to be closed.

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Garage attendant Yasmin Smith, who rushed to Wiggins's aid, said she was in the garage's office when she heard a screeching of tyres and a loud bang, so rushed outside to help.

"By the time I got there he had moved to a safer place but was still on the ground and he was in a lot of pain," she told the Lancashire Evening Post. "He said he thought he had broken his ribs and while a lot of police cars arrived it was about 15 minutes before the ambulance got there, by which time he was blue."

'Do you realise who you've hit?'

The father of two, became the first British winner of the Tour de France in July and weeks later, won his fourth Olympic gold medal at the time trial at London 2012.

In a statement on its website, Wiggins' sponsor Team Sky said: "We can confirm that on Wednesday evening Bradley Wiggins was involved in a road traffic accident whilst riding his bike near his home in Lancashire.

"He is being kept in hospital overnight for observation but the injuries he has sustained are not thought to be serious and he is expected to make a full and speedy recovery. We will announce more details in due course."

Ms Smith told ITV's Daybreak that she didn't realise who had been injured at first and the driver was in shock. "She was very upset, even more upset when the police actually said 'do you realise who you've hit?'. That really put her back, because obviously she felt bad enough."

Ms Smith said Wiggins's wife Cath was on the scene within about five minutes.

In a separate incident Shane Sutton, head coach of the GB Cycling Team, has been taken to hospital suffering bruising and bleeding on the brain, after an incident this morning on the A6 near Manchester.