Alex Dowsett has posted a detailed description of a harrowing near-miss with a 4×4 while out cycling on Monday, December 18.
The 29-year-old Movistar professional rider said that the red Porsche Cayenne was coming straight at him as it was overtaking another car, an experience that he says left him shocked and in tears.
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“Today a new red Porsche Cayenne overtook another car but in doing so he came straight at me on my side of the road doing, I would guess (given it was an overtake in a powerful car) around 60-80mph. I was doing 25mph. A head-on at this speed is an impact speed of 85-1005mph with a 2040kg car and an 80kg me… you can do the consequential maths.
Dowsett continued: “He saw me, we made eye contact, I don’t know if he saw me before he started the overtake but once he was mid-manoeuvre he saw me, he didn’t try to squeeze the Fiat 500 he was overtaking, nor did he tray and brake or even lift off and I’m fairly sure of this, he took a chance that we would all fit.
“Of course, I was angry initially, in shock that someone could take such a chance with someone else’s life for the sake of an overtake.”
The Giro d’Italia stage winner and former Hour Record holder said that once the anger subsided he thought back to when his mother was “driven off the road” by a car and caravan, causing her to crash and leaving her with significant injuries. Dowsett says she has not ridden on a road bike since.
“Maybe we were lucky that an experienced cyclist was in the oncoming path of this Porsche and not an inexperienced one, perhaps, but it doesn’t make it ok. It just makes it lucky.”
“I was in tears afterwards. It’s the closest I’ve ever been to a career or life-ending crash and it’s scared the living daylights out of me, made me question why we do what we do and if the consequences are worth it.”
Dowsett says that he has few details of the incident – no camera footage or number plate. He also doesn’t say whether he has reported the incident to police.
He concludes his message: “And lastly to the Porsche Cayenne driver, if you get the chance to read this, I hope you had a fright also, I hope my thoughts of what my loved ones would do if I didn’t come home from a training ride mirrored the thoughts of how your loved ones would be having to visit you in a cell, or how you’d feel with the guilt you’d carry, and so I really hope it’s something you won’t do again.”
Dowsett, who has signed to Katusha-Alpecin for 2018, says that he will be back out on his bike on Tuesday, but with a camera affixed to the handlebars.