Lucky to be alive: Cyclist survives 39ft fall into freezing lake (PHOTOS)

© Christina Jewelry Pro Cycling
German cyclist Arnold Fiek is grateful for life this week after surviving a 39-foot (12-meter) plunge into a freezing Swiss lake when he lost control of his bicycle during the Gran Premio di Lugano race.

The 22-year-old was only a few kilometers into the Sunday competition when he crashed into the barrier of a bridge during a slippery right hand turn, firing him into the icy waters of Lake Lugano below.

Fracturing his hip in the process, Fiek managed to swim to the safety of a wooden plank along the bridge, while waiting to be rescued.

The young cyclist was brought to hospital for treatment and was released within 24 hours of his dramatic fall and will now take a six week break from the sport.

Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, Fiek said he had been “very lucky” not to hit his head during the fall.

"When I was falling in the water, I thought 'It's ending',” he said. “When I swam out of the water, I think 'OK, not so bad.’"

Fiek can take some solace in the fact that he wasn't the only participant in the race that suffered an injury.

Edoardo Zardini crashed his bike into a wall during the race resulting in fracturing of four of his vertebrae.

Fiek and Zardini are certainly not the first to suffer the pitfalls of cycling, although some have just ignored the warning signs - literally.

Both these cyclists ignored the traffic signals and suffered the consequences.

One person appears to have been distracted by his own thoughts when enjoying the fresh air and missed the fact that there was a car parked in his path.

And this rider approached the pedestrian crossing with a little too much gusto and his face paid the price.