A former Havelock North couple are recovering in hospital following a horror cycle smash near Taupo.
David Joyce and Sirpa Lajunen, of Kinloch, were airlifted to Waikato Hospital after being struck by a 4WD while cycling on Poihipi Rd just after 3pm on Friday.
In earlier reports, Mr Joyce, 51, said he looked over at his 49-year-old wife, who was nearby and had landed in a "chair position" with her helmet over her eyes and one of her bicycle's wheels wrapped around her head.
While his injuries included shoulder trauma and a deep gash, his wife's injuries were more serious and included five cracked vertebrae.
Both underwent surgery on Sunday.
Rotorua's Bay Trust Helicopter pilot Barry Vincent said the bikes had been "shattered" by the impact.
"The damage to the bikes was severe; there were fragments lying all around.
"When a cyclist is hit by a 4WD, the injuries are always going to be severe.
"They were in a great deal of pain, even with the pain relief, but it could have been an awful lot worse."
Until three years ago, the couple owned Revolution Bikes in Havelock North. Their son, Sean Joyce, 21, was a professional cyclist in Europe.
Ramblers Cycling Club chairman Gavin Bush said he was "horrified" to hear about the incident.
"He was a very accomplished racing cyclist and it was a shock to hear this," Mr Bush said. "He was also a particularly safe cyclist and ensured the young ones he trained made sure they didn't make themselves a target.
"It again highlights the difficulty we have on our roads. Drivers who see cyclists on these narrow country roads just need to learn to slow down."
Brother Rodney Joyce said the family were still in shock.
"It's been a tough couple of days," Mr Joyce said. "They were going single file down a straight road on a beautiful, clear afternoon. My brother's pretty banged up and my sister-in-law, she has a lot ahead of her in terms of her recovery.
"Four to six vertebrae are damaged and they think some might be shattered. She had a lot of internal bleeding too."
The 100km/h zone was narrow, with grassy banks on each side, but popular with cyclists because it ran between Taupo and several scenic rides.
Taupo district councillor, Keith Crate, said the council hoped for funding to improve Poihipi Rd for cyclists.
"It's a death trap," he said. "The whole cycling community is asking for it."
Police are investigating the crash.
A 16-year-old female cyclist remains in intensive care after colliding with another cyclist during a group ride near Whanawhana in Hawke's Bay about 10am on Sunday.
St John district operations manager Stephen Smith said the teenager suffered moderate head and pelvic injuries.
She was flown by helicopter to Hawke's Bay Hospital, where she remains in a serious condition.