The road rage attacker who pushed Belgian Iljo Keisse (Etixx-Quick Step) off his bicycle last summer will serve 100 hours of community service and pay a fine, says a Ghent court.
Yesterday, according to a report in Het Nieuwsblad newspaper, the court ruled in Keisse’s favour. The man, named only as Marc V., will have to carry out the work and pay a €300 (£256) fine.
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If he refuses to perform the community service, he could be imprisoned for 10 months.
Mark V. must also pay €750 (£639) in compensation to the six-day and road star. Keisse had asked for €2500 (£2131).
The incident occurred on June 12, 2015, when Keisse was training in Destelbergen, east of his hometown Ghent.
Backed by two independent witnesses, Keisse explained that 44-year-old Marc V. cut him off with his car during a training ride. A few hundred metres afterwards, he stopped and confronted Keisse. When he pushed him, Keisse fell to the ground and hurt his shoulder.
The judge said to Marc V., “It’s very clear you have a short fuse.”
Marc V. denied Keisse’s version and his lawyer pushed for acquittal.
“It is a pity that this is not described correctly,” Marc V. said. “Keisse just fell, but so be it. If there had been cameras there, it’d be clear.”
The incident happened weeks after Keisse won the final stage of the Giro d’Italia and as he trained for the Belgian championships.
“It happened 500 metres from my door,” Keisse told Het Laatste Nieuws last June. “That car came from the street I wanted to enter, I braked, but he took his turn entirely on the inside. Thankfully, I can ride well, and I managed to jump on the pavement. I made clear to him that you can’t do that.
“When the man got out of his car, I immediately knew it was on. I don’t think he knew, he was just wild. Foam on his lips.”
Keisse did not say he fell as was reported yesterday.
“He wanted to fight and tried to hit me. I defended myself with my bike and tried to protect my face,” Keisse added.
“It was really weird. He yanked so hard on my bike that he has pulled my shoulder out of its socket. He was a bear of a man.”
He was able to race 10 days later in the Ster ZLM and said that he felt safer in the peloton. On Sunday in the Ghent Six Day, which he’s won six times, he placed third with partner Elia Viviani behind victors Mark Cavendish and Sir Bradley Wiggins.