By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor
TIAA-CREF had the biggest representation at the USPRO road nationals with fourteen starters - but they were supposed to have fifteen. Rahsaan Bahati was unable to make the trip to Greenville when he was struck by a vehicle in a hit-and-run near his home in Los Angeles.
"This woman tried to race me to the corner," Bahati told Cyclingnews. "It's just a two-lane highway ending at PCH, and I'm in the right hand lane where you can only go right and she's in the left hand lane where you can only turn left. But she turns right and I t-boned her right over the hood. Once I got to my feet she looked at me and she just took off!"
The woman was appropriately driving a Chevy Suburban. A witness did get a partial plate number and police are searching for the driver. Bahati meanwhile suffered three broken ribs, a separated shoulder and a concussion. "I had some bad headaches and I had to go back to the hospital to get a cat scan." Luckily the scan came back normal and Bahati is recovering at his home.
But like all bike racers, sitting at home is not an easy task. "I actually rode my bike on Monday and it was bad idea because I have to go over a hill to get out my house, and with broken ribs it hurts so much to breathe. I'll take two more weeks and then hopefully start training for track nationals."
Bahati has had a month of bad luck, crashing while riding in the winning break at the Bank of America Invitational, flatting in the closing laps at USPRO criterium nationals and now this. "My morale was already low and then I get hit by a car! And this is when my form is always good. But I'm not too down on myself though, it's part of bike racing."