GB cyclist Vicky Williamson 'thankful' to make race return after serious crash

Cyclist Vicky Williamson
Williamson could only return to training 10 months after the accident

British cyclist Vicky Williamson said she was 'thankful' to be back in elite action after a race crash in January 2016 which left her with serious injuries.

Williamson fractured her neck and back, dislocated her pelvis and slipped a disc in her neck in the accident.

Friday's sprint qualification with Katy Marchant at the Track World Cup in Hong Kong was her first time representing Great Britain since the crash.

"I never thought I'd get this opportunity again," she said.

"I had to take a second when I was warming up just to be thankful I was even at this level and racing at a World Cup. I was pretty nervous and stuff, but it was good to be back."

Williamson, 25, spent four weeks in hospital and had to undergo extensive rehabilitation following the crash in Rotterdam.

She said afterwards that she was lucky not to be left paralysed.

The pair finished 14th in qualifying in Hong Kong and failed to reach the next round but Williamson told British Cycling that Marchant had been a source of help to her.

"Katy was really supportive and said that whatever happens, you've already won by being back on the start line," she added.

"I was more emotional afterwards because I didn't necessarily put together everything that I wanted to do and execute it properly, but that's just sport, it can't always go your way.

"I've had a long break off the world stage but I've got no excuses - I just wasn't at my best but it's a step in the right direction.

"I put myself forward for selection and it's just going to be onwards and upwards from here."