Lauren Dolan has been forced to give up on her professional cycling career, revealing on the day the driver who caused her 2019 crash received a fine that she doesn’t even ride recreationally.
The 21-year-old was knocked from her bike in September 2019, just 48 hours after winning a bronze medal at the UCI Road Championships in Yorkshire in the Mixed Relay team time trial event.
She described how the driver initially failed to overtake her, and then showed his frustration when he did manage to pass in ‘punishment braking’, causing her to crash into a traffic island.
Dolan returned to race in early 2020 with the Bizkaia Durango team in the Vuelta CV Feminas, but the pandemic then struck and she has not raced since. Her social media accounts have also been dormant since then.
On Friday, the law firm representing Dolan, Leigh Day, issued an update on the outcome of the case against the driver.
The 73-year-old was handed fines totaling £1,667 and 10 penalty points on his licence after being found guilty of driving without due care and attention, failure to stop and failure to report the accident.
Dolan was pleased the case was over but revealed that her cycling career – which had promised much on the road and the track – was as well.
“The driver who caused the collision has ended my cycling career and he has only had to pay the sentence fine,” Dolan said.
“I am grateful to be able to get on with my life but you can’t put a price on a young person’s career.”
Dolan’s injuries turned out to be worse than first feared. Initially she had surgery on her left shoulder as she suffered a broken collarbone and soft tissue damage. However, as she returned to training and racing, it emerged that she also had an undiagnosed leg break, in the form of a fracture of the femoral neck.
As such, just hours after the biggest moment of her career on the world stage in Yorkshire, her career was effectively ended.
“The crash took away everything from that race, the biggest result of my career. I went from elation to complete and utter waste, what happened was so completely overwhelming,” she said.
“I had been at boarding school, spending three weeks at a time in Manchester, where I trained at the Velodrome, cycling was my life and I was on the way to fulfilling my childhood dream of cycling in the Olympics. The crash took all of that away, just when I was so elated by winning the bronze medal.
“I have only just started exercising again but I don’t cycle any more, the collision has taken away all of my confidence. I have to move on, I can’t help but think ‘what if, what if’, but I have to get on with my life. I hope to go to university and train to be a vet. It will be a completely different life.”