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Vanhoucke punched in the face several times by driver while training

BEDA SPAIN FEBRUARY 21 Start Harm Vanhoucke of Belgium and Team Lotto Soudal during the 66th Vuelta a Andaluca Ruta del Sol 2020 Stage 3 a 1769km stage from Jan to beda 727m VCANDALUCIA UCIProSeries on February 21 2020 in beda Spain Photo by David RamosGetty Images
Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Lotto Soudal rider Harm Vanhoucke is seeking information about a driver who he alleges assaulted him while he was out training on Saturday. 

Although the coronavirus pandemic has led Belgium to ban any non-essential travel, cycling alone is still allowed.

The 22-year-old posted on his Facebook page that while he was riding along the Aalbeeksestraat in Aalbeke - in West Flanders just across the border from Roubaix - a heavy set man, around 40-50 years old and driving a black van forced him off the road then assaulted him.

"[The man] got out aggressively and I urged him to keep his distance, after saying that he deliberately punched me in the face several times and stormed away. This is anything but normal in times of corona[virus]. If anyone knew this person, please send me a message."

The incident comes five days after Italian riders, who are also allowed to train outside, were harassed by drivers. Cycling for sport or fitness reasons has been widely discouraged in Italy to avoid the risk of crashes and injury that can use up vital medical resources, while Spain has banned outdoor cycling altogether.