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Updated: US pro cyclist leaves team after being summonsed for firing shots from handgun on training ride

United Healthcare rider Daniel Summerhill reportedly said he “needed to vent” according to arrest report


A rider with US Professional Continental outfit United Healthcare has been summonsed for firing shots from a handgun while on a training ride – and is said to have claimed afterwards that he “needed to vent.”

28-year-old Daniel Summerhill, who last week won the prologue at the Tour of Japan, was summonsed for disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment in connection with the incident in February, reports, and has reportedly entered a plea of not guilty.

He is alleged to have illegally fired shots from the weapon in a residential area in Jefferson County, Colorado, according to his arrest report.

A woman who had just arrived home from work is said to have heard three “loud pops” and went into the street, South Deer Park Road, to investigate. She said she saw the cyclist fire two more shots into a hillside.

The arrest report said that “The area that she indicated that he had shot at was a hillside between two driveways, with a freestanding garage and a vehicle parked in front of it.”

The report continued: “There were residences on both sides of the road there as well as one above the hillside where the male had shot.”

Spent rounds were found around 50 yards apart, said to suggest that Summerhill had been firing as he rode along.

The woman’s husband followed the rider and confronted him, with the arrest report saying that he “had been able to see a handgun in one of the pouches on the back of the male’s jersey.”

According to the report, “The male initially denied shooting, but then admitted that he had a bad day and need to vent, so he decided to shoot.”

The driver took video footage as he followed the cyclist and having identified the kit he was wearing as that of the United Healthcare team, looked on its website where he saw a picture of Summerhill and believed he had been the rider in question.

 A sheriff’s deputy subsequently met with the cyclist, and wrote in the report: “He confirmed that he had been riding his bicycle in Deer Creek Canyon on a five-hour training ride and had needed to vent before he got back to his vehicle.

“He told me that he had no idea that the area was residential and that it was not OK for him to shoot at the hillside there.”

Summerhill, who is now in his fifth full season with United Healthcare after joining as a stagiaire in August 2012, is due to attend a pre-trial hearing on 12 July.

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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