A 72-year-old cyclist died of brain injuries the day after falling off her bike when it hit a pothole on a Monmouthshire road.

Valerie Cadogan was thrown over the handlebars while cycling into Monmouth from her home in nearby Osbaston on April 24, her husband David Raine told an inquest.

Ms Cadogan, a regular cyclist, was airlifted to Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, but did not regain consciousness. A post mortem revealed she died of brain haemorrhages.

She had not been wearing a crash helmet, and Gwent coroner David Bowen said that had she been, it might have lessened the effects of the impact.

Mr Raine said he was riding behind his wife along St Mary's Road on the outskirts of Osbaston, a regular route.

After dropping, the road climbs again, and they had reached the lowest point "where the road surface seems to change and becomes uneven and rough."

"As she was about to start the climb, she had started to pedal faster to help get up the rise," he said.

"Her front wheel turned sharp right and she went over the handlebars and landed on her head."

Mr Raine had not seen his wife hit the pothole - 11 centimetres at its deepest, and around 25 centimetres across - only noticing it after she fell.

Mark Watkins, an area maintenance engineer with Monmouthshire council, said that following Ms Cadogan's fall, the pothole had been "mended immediately."

He told Mr Bowen that St Mary's Road, not being a major road, was inspected once a year, the council then relying on the police and public to report problems. It had been inspected and repaired in June 2012, with no subsequent reports of problems.

Mr Bowen concluded Ms Cadogan "inadvertently" hit the pothole and was satisfied that had she seen it, she was experienced enough to have steered past it.

He said it was "a matter of concern" that she had not been wearing a helmet and said all cyclists should do so.

Verdict: Accidental death.