A training ride on Wilunga Hill turned into an unexpected brush with the law on Wednesday for Giant-Alpecin's Tour Down Under squad after Simon Geschke and Lawson Craddock collided with a local patrol car.
Craddock told Cyclingnews via email Wednesday that the incident occurred after the riders had climbed the hill twice and were heading back down.
“I was behind Simon Geschke when we rolled into town where a bike lane started,” Craddock said. “After a couple hundred meters, Simon started to pass a cop who all of a sudden turned into a parking space on the side of the street.
“He clipped Simon's rear wheel, but [Geschke] managed to straighten it back up to keep upright. Unfortunately, I was close behind him and the cop was completely blocking the bike path. I slammed on my brakes and was able to slow down just enough to give the car a solid hip check – my track racing days coming in handy. Fortunately, we both came away completely unscathed and were able to continue on our way. We were definitely lucky, as it could have turned out a whole lot worse.”
The riders have been in Australia for several days preparing for the season-opening WorldTour race, which begins Tuesday, January 20. The race will traverse Wilunga Hill during stage 5 on January 24. Craddock is in Australia to play a support role for the team, while Geschke is one of the team's GC hopefuls. Other Giant-Alpecin riders in Australia include Tom Dumoulin, Chad Haga, Marcel Kittel, Koen de Kort and Albert Timmer.
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Growing up in Missoula, Montana, Pat competed in his first bike race in 1985 at Flathead Lake before studying English and journalism at the University of Oregon. He has covered North American cycling extensively since 2009, as well as racing and teams in Europe and South America. Pat currently lives in the US outside of Portland, Oregon.
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