Two separate incidents this week pitted cars against professional cyclists, but in each case the riders emerged relatively unscathed. In Spain, Caisse d'Epargne riders Joaquim Rodriguez and Alberto Losada were training for the Vuelta a España in the mountains near Seu d'Urgell when a motorist traveling in opposite direction suddenly made a sharp turn in front of them.
The two hit the Renault Clio, with Losada receiving the brunt of the impact. A trip to the medical centre revealed no broken bones, but both riders suffered road rash and bruises, and Losada's bike was shattered. Both are expected to take the start of the Tour of Spain next Saturday in Granada.
In the Netherlands, it was an aggressive driver who troubled riders as they were warming up for the prologue of the Eneco Tour on Wednesday. According to the Dutch press service AD, members of the Astana team were assaulted by an angry driver.
The 62-year-old driver pulled up alongside members of the Astana team, honking his horn. When the team's Swiss rider Steve Morabito questioned the driver, the man opened his door, causing Morabito to crash. When his team-mate Benoît Joachim confronted the angry motorist, he received a punch in the face.
The team's Dutch rider Koen de Kort gave the account of the incident, saying that the other riders at the scene called the police, but were careful to stay out of the scuffle. "I can just see the headlines now: 'Astana-team beat up 62 year-old man'."
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