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"In France, that product is sold freely. I have it with me because I have already dealt with aggression during training. A cyclist is absolutely defenceless against others. I have often seen violence.”





13.04.2016 @ 15:27 Posted by Joseph Doherty

BMC initially reported that two drunk drivers had attacked Philippe Gilbert and Loic Vliegen while they trained on the Amstel Gold Race course. Now, both drivers have said the riders were the aggressors. 


Het Nieuwsblad have reported that in the altercation, which resulted in Gilbert breaking a finger, the veteran Belgian and three time Amstel winner, used an illegal spray.


The spray was reportedly purchased in France, where it is legal, but used in Belgium, where it is not. Gilbert may face a prison sentence of between one month to five years and a fine of between 100 to 25,000 Euros.


"In France, that product is sold freely. I have it with me because I have already dealt with aggression during training,” said Gilbert said according to Het Nieuwsblad. “A cyclist is absolutely defenceless against others. Unfortunately, I have often seen scenes of violence.”


"Our version is as follow, there was three of us riding on the national road from Spa to Theux. The third was a cycling tourist who had joined us, as so often happens in training. That man was sitting with us on our wheel. We were riding, therefore, not with three, but with two side by side. A car forced us in and gave us very little space. When we, verbally and with hand gestures, expressed our displeasure about the dangerous overtaking, the driver slowed, and he was waiting for us.”


Vliegen continued the story by telling reporters that he was forced to hold onto the car to avoid crashing during the incident. "The man jerked the wheel and turned to the left. I had to cling to the vehicle in order not to fall,” he said.


“The driver then grabbed my right arm by the sleeve and accelerated, in which he took me in the left lane. A head-on collision with an oncoming car was only just avoided. I experienced the fright of my life. Eventually, I could pry myself away, and the car took off. [It was a] hit and run.”


With the car speeding away, Gilbert and Vliegen continued into Theux where they say that they came across the drivers again. "We went to redress things with the driver, who hurled us all kinds of insults and tried to play down what had happened. There was a scuffle. For me, there are major consequences, because I broke my finger in three places. We have several witnesses."




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