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Rider from Team DSM pressing charges after altercation with driver

The back of Team DSM jersey
(Image credit: Team DSM )

A rider from Team DSM has filed charges against a driver who attacked them in a road rage incident, according to a report by Cycling Weekly who obtained a video of the altercation.

The driver reportedly objected to the riders traveling side by side and cut them off, then stopped and got out of the car to confront one of the riders while another one filmed the interaction.

The heavy-set, older white male grabbed the rider by the throat and pushed them off their bike before walking away. The rider followed, threw a punch and was again assaulted by the driver before breaking free. The altercation ended when a female passenger in the car got out to call off the driver.

The incident is not the first between a professional cyclist and a vehicle driver. In 2016, Philippe Gilbert had his middle finger broken in a confrontation with a driver.

In 2017, French rider Yoann Offredo said he was attacked by a driver with a baseball bat and knife, but courts later found that the French rider had also taken part and both parties were fined €700.

In 2018, Daniel Martínez was hospitalised after being attacked by a motorist in Tuscany. And last year, Andrea Vendrame (AG2R Citroën) was punched by a driver while training in December.

Almost every rider has had some sort of run-in with drivers whose sense of entitlement to the road coupled with a misunderstanding of riders' rights leads to anger.

Riders also are justifiably defensive when going up against potentially lethal vehicles. Riders from Team DSM's previous incarnation, Giant-Alpecin, were traumatised by a horrific incident during a training camp in 2016 when a driver crashed into the riders head on, leaving John Degenkolb with a nearly-severed finger and Chad Haga with deep gashes to his neck, face and chest.

Bicycling magazine offers tips to de-escalating road rage incidents, while the Cycling Lawyer advises to avoid reacting to drivers with obscene gestures or other actions which might be perceived as instigating a reaction. But if there isn't an easy exit, getting witnesses or filming the incident, as the DSM riders did, is the next best option.

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