Former Androni Giocattoli rider José Serpa, who has joined Lampre Merida for the 2013 season, has received cuts to his back and face inflicted by knife-wielding muggers on a scooter who made off with his bike. The 33-year-old was on a training ride during a visit to his native country, Colombia.
“When they rob you your tools of trade you feel really bad,” reflected Serpa on the loss of his bike, reports Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport in its print edition today.
“But I clearly couldn’t fight against weapons and knife blows,” he went on.
“My thoughts were to save my life. Nothing else matters,” added the rider, winner of the 2009 and 2012 editions of the Tour de Langkawi and three times a podium finisher in the Tour de San Luis.
Serpa isn’t the first Latin American rider to have been targeted by muggers after returning home for the off-season.
In December 2010, Movistar’s Andrey Amador was beaten unconscious and robbed of his Pinarello Dogma 60.1 team bike while on a training ride in his native Costa Rica.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.