Daniel Martinez 'knocked out with a punch from a driver' on training ride with EF Education First team mates

Daniel Martinez attacked by driver as he was training on the roads around Pistoia, Tuscany, on Tuesday and was taken to hospital

Daniel Martinez.
(Image credit: Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

American team EF Education First-Drapac reports that its rider Daniel Martinez was 'punched by a driver' during a training ride in Italy on Tuesday.

The motorist had driven his car close to Martinez during the ride near Pistoia, before later attacking the 21-year-old Colombian and knocking him unconscious.

Martinez was subsequently taken to hospital for medical checks, with the team saying that he was under observation.

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"@danifmartinez96 was training today with a group, which was buzzed by a car. Martinez was later punched by the driver, along with another cyclist," said EF Education First-Drapac via Twitter.

"Martinez was taken to hospital, where he remains under observation but is in good condition."

El Tiempo reports that Martinez was riding with a group including fellow Colombians Julián Cardona, also of EF Education First-Drapac, and Miguel Eduardo Flórez of Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia when the incident occurred.

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"I was riding here in Italy, and a car wanted to practically kill us," Martinez told El Tiempo.

"In the end, we said he was crazy. He got out and attacked me, gave me a punch in the jaw and left me knocked out. Another friend broke his lip and then he [the driver] ran away."

Martinez signed to the EF Education First-Drapac team for 2018, having previously ridden for Southeast-Venezuela.

He placed second in the 2018 Colombian national time trial, and went on to finish in fifth place overall at the Colombia Oro y Paz. Last week, Martinez placed seventh overall in the Volta a Catalunya, one minute and 29 seconds behind winner Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).