Italian sprinter Sacha Modolo has revealed details of a hit-and-run incident he suffered while out training and how he farcically struggled to get police assistance to report the driver.
Modolo, who will ride for EF Education First-Drapac in 2018, revealed he left home at 10:15 on Saturday morning and only returned home at 5:30 p.m. after spending several hours with police and then in hospital for a check up. He was not seriously hurt but suffered a blow to his back and was left frustrated by the whole event.
"Fortunately I'll 'get away with' just a strong blow to my back," he wrote on his Facebook page.
Modolo explained that he was hit from behind while stopped at a traffic light.
"He didn't see me or wanted to go through on red (though I'm not really sure what he wanted to do). He pulled down his window and just laughed. The passenger then got out and minimised what had happened sarcastically saying 'it's only a bike and nothing happened to you'," Modolo said.
"I realised that I wouldn't have got anywhere with them, so I took a photo of the vehicle, saying I'd report them to the police. The driver took off at that point.”
Modolo explained that his problems did not end there.
"I was stunned by what had happened and so called the state police (carabinieri). But they said they wouldn't come out to the scene because it wasn't serious. I called the local police but they told me to call the state police again," Modolo said, shocked by the lack of support despite his aggressor driving away.
"Eventually a traffic officer from Asolo did come out. We were able to get his details from the number plate and I've made an official report.
"I want to thank the family that stopped and offered to be a witness. It's just sad to say that we're always in danger and obliged to share the road with people like this guy!"
There was no comment from Italian police to local Italian media. However, speaking to La Tribuna di Treviso, Modolo admitted he thought he was the victim of a Candid Camera joke.
"This is nothing to do with being a cyclist, I got caught up with some strange people. I understand that people make mistakes and accidents happen but their behaviour was unacceptable. It felt like I was caught up in a Candid Camera practical joke."