The attack happened on Broadlands Rd, near Taupo. The rider
was flown to Rotorua Hospital. Photo / Greenlea rescue
The Ironman cyclist who suffered serious injuries in an
alleged assault yesterday (Mon) is in a stable condition in
An entrant in this weekend's Ironman triathlon in Taupo
suffered serious injuries in the road-rage attack in which a
motorist allegedly chased him down while he was on a training
A 21-year-old man has been arrested charged with assault over
the incident and will appear at Taupo District Court
It is the second serious incident involving an Ironman
competitor in a month and has led to renewed calls for
drivers and motorists to stay calm on roads.
The Taupo triathlete, 49, was pedalling on Broadlands Rd near
the town when he was allegedly pushed off his bike by a man
who has now been charged with assault.
Police spokeswoman Kim Perks said a ute overtook another
vehicle while travelling in the opposite direction to the
cyclist. The cyclist believed the ute came too close to him
and he admitted he gave the finger gesture to the driver.
"The ute then turned around, travelled back up Broadlands Rd
and pulled over ahead of the cyclist. As the cyclist pulled
wide to go around the ute, it is alleged that the driver
chased him on foot and pushed him off his bike."
Ms Perks said the cyclist was suspected to have suffered
serious pelvic injuries and a broken collarbone.
The motorist, aged 21, was later arrested in Reporoa. He is
scheduled to appear in the Taupo District Court tomorrow,
charged with assault.
The police want to hear from anyone who saw the incident,
about 12.45pm, and hope to find the driver of the car passed
by the ute, a silver Toyota Hilux.
The Greenlea rescue helicopter flew the cyclist to Rotorua
Hospital, where he was in a serious condition last night.
Cycle Action Auckland chairwoman Barbara Cuthbert was
appalled when told of the attack, but she did not condone
discourtesy by cyclists.
"You're unwise to give people the fingers. I think it's a
rude behaviour. We promote courtesy on the road, from all
parties. If someone has come too close to you, that's
annoying, and maybe people in a fit of annoyance give the
fingers; we would never recommend that.
"The fact the driver was too close is really annoying, but
the unforgivable aspect was that the driver then assaulted
"Despite the actions of the cyclist, the bottom line is that
the violence demonstrated by the ute driver is deplorable and
Ms Cuthbert urged cyclists to adopt the Good Bunch safe
road-sharing initiative of Tamaki Drive road cyclists in
Auckland. Cyclists had reported that the principle "Courtesy
works - a wave and a smile" allowed riders to retain control,
and promoted good behaviour by motorists.
This month, the Herald reported how Ironman entrant Glen
Cornwell was hit from behind by an SUV while on a training
ride in the Waitakere Ranges. He had to have surgery to
stabilise a fractured vertebra.
Mr Cornwell was disgusted at being offered a partial refund,
of $150, on his entry fee of more than $800 - he wanted his
entry transferred to next year's race.
Last February, Jamie Curtis Pene, of Wellington, admitted
punching US cyclist Russ Roca at an intersection in the city.