14 February 2006
Top Cyclist Injured In ‘Road Rage’ Clash
Murray Williams – Staff Writer
A top European cyclist, training in the Cape for the Tour de France , was injured when struck by a car in an apparent road rage incident in Somerset West.
Danilo Hondo, a German cyclist and training partner of 1997 Tour de France winner
Jan Ulrich, was knocked off his bike yesterday afternoon.
Hondo, a sprint specialist, was training with a colleague, Matthias Kessler, of the world renowned T- Mobile team.
Hondo said he and his partner had been riding up the tree- lined Avenue Parel Vallei.
“We were very lucky that we were going slowly,” said Hondo. “He (the motorist) was shouting from behind us and then he knocked me from directly behind.”
Hondo said a side mirror had been knocked off the car in the incident. “I couldn’t understand why he didn’t stop.” He said his injuries could hit his pocket.”I have pain
in my knee and my back. I’m a professional. This is what I do.”
Immediately after the incident, Hondo and the motorist made contact with the police,
who opened a standard accident docket.
The motorist, who was driving a BMW, alleged that one of the cyclists had damaged his vehicle, and suggested there had been a fracas.
Hondo’s bicycle, costing around R 140 000, has a cracked back wheel. The wheel alone,
he said, was worth around R40 000. The incident is to be investigated by police.
A number of elite European cyclists have used the Cape as an out- of – season- training venue, spending hundreds of thousands of rands on hotels and even buying houses in Somerset West‘s wealthy Erinvale and Bellair’s security estates.