A POLICE investigation is underway in France after a professional cyclist was targeted in an unprovoked attack.
Shocking details have emerged after Frenchman Yoann Offredo shocked cycling fans appearing bloodied and bruised as he feared aggressors broke his nose and a rib.
The 30-year-old, who has been in the pro peloton for ten years, posted pictures of the attack’s aftermath to his social media accounts.
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But further details have emerged about the attack from Offredo’s team Wanty, who described it as “sickening violence” and he will now be out of action for at least three weeks.
He was allegedly confronted by a driver of a car and a passenger in the Chevreuse Valley, south west of Paris on Monday afternoon.
Offredo, who has ridden several editions of the Tour de France for France’s top commercial team FDJ and now the Wanty team, was out for a practise ride with two pals when the incident happened.
He said: “A car raged very close past us. Suddenly the driver braked with the intention of making us crash.
“I wanted to talk to the driver, but she was trying to get out of the car with a cutter blade. In reflex I blocked the door of the car. Then the passenger got out of the car and picked up a wooden tool handle from the suitcase.
“With that he hit me and afterwards headbutted me.
“The police then intervened. A case was opened and a complained filed. I suffer from pain on the nose, on a rib and suffer from several bruises. I still have to go to hospital to determine the extent of the damage.
“I am particularly shocked. I have been cycling for 15 years and I have never experienced such a thing. Verbal aggression often occurs, but mostly it stops there.”
Offredo’s team described the incident as “senseless violence.”
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He initially said he had broken his nose and rib, but that appears to be subject to his hospital visit.
He said on Facebook yesterday: “Today I was the victim of an assault with a box cutter and a baseball bat during a workout with two friends… result: a broken nose, fractured rib, in a bad state and bruises all over my body.
“But beyond the physical injuries I am particularly shocked.
“I’m not angry, I’m just sad about this beautiful sport I love. I don’t want my kids to do it, too dangerous.
“You leave in the morning for training, but you never know if you’re going to go home.
“Just sad to note that in the country of the rights of man, we ignore the rights of cyclists.”
It is not known if the police have been contacted over the incident.
It is the latest shock in cycling after the death of hugely popular Italian rider Michele Scarponi on Saturday after he collided with a minibus.