Friday started off routine enough for the Jamis-Hagens Berman team, but ended with a hit-and-run collision at the team’s warm-weather training camp.
Meet in Tuscon, Arizona, where the squad is holding a training camp. Clip in, start pedaling, and head for the suburbs, where traffic is light and the riding is good.
The second part is where things fell apart.
As the 15-person group was riding in a two-column paceline around 10:30 a.m., a driver suddenly appeared next to the group, which, according to rider Ben Jacques-Maynes via Cyclingnews.com, was on the right side of the white line. The driver began shouting obscenities and then swerved into the group.
Tyler Wren, who was leading the paceline, absorbed much of the impact but was fortunate not to break any bones.
“You go on a bike and you expect to be safe … you don’t expect something like this to happen,” Wren said in a story on KVOA.com. “The driver came, was coming in on the left and was yelling at us and swerved into us. I think intentionally [and] sped off.”
That’s not the end of the story, however.
A team car trailing the group caught up with the offending motorist, took a picture of the license plate and reported it to the Tucson Police Department. KVOA has reported that a man is in custody.
Wren said he felt lucky to escape without a serious injury because in bike racing, collisions with cars — intentional or not — are an unfortunate hazard.
“I’ve seen worse things happen,” Wren told KVOA. “A friend of mine just broke his collarbone and his scapula in a similar sort of accident. It doesn’t seem like I have any broken bones … I came out OK.”