Angry driver takes out cyclist pack

Thursday, May 8, 2008

About 50 cyclists have been involved in a hit-and-run attack by a car in the suburb of Mascot, just south of the centre of Sydney, Australia.

Map of Australia, Sydney highlighted
Image: Martyman.

The cyclists, including former Australian Olympian Ben Kersten, and road racer Kate Nichols, were in a group of cyclists hit when a driver who had been "worrying" the rear of the pack, overtook the cyclists, pulled in front of the pack, and then slammed on the brakes.

The riders suffered a collection of minor scrapes and bruises, but no deaths were caused. The incident, which has been reported to have caused approximately A$30,000 worth of property damage to the cyclist's vehicles, also caused a semi-trailer to jack-knife, and cars to swerve.

Although the cyclists had been following Australian road rules, the National Roads and Motorists' Association's senior adviser, Anne Morphett, said a large bike pack can sometimes stretch to 40 metres. "They need to break them up so cars can overtake safely. You might have three across and five deep, but not 40 or 50 deep," she said. "We want to see people get their training in but they need to be in areas that are safe - and these are public roads, not a training facility."

Kate Nichols, one of the injured, was also seriously injured in a crash in Germany in 2005 involving the Australian women's road cycling team that killed Australian cyclist Amy Gillett.

The driver, a 34 year old man from Claymore, has been spoken to, but has yet to be charged.