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Two cyclists injured in latest case of aggression against riders in Midlands

Incident in Staffordshire follows four in Leicestershire and one in Warwickshire in recent weeks

Two Leicestershire cyclists have been injured while riding near Tamworth in neighbouring Staffordshire after a motorist allegedly used his car door to deliberately push one of them off his bike.

It’s the latest in a series of incidents in the Midlands in recent weeks – three in Leicestershire in which the same silver BMW is believed to have been involved, and another one, also involving a silver car but not being linked to those by police, in Warwickshire.

The cyclists in the incident in Staffordshire were among 30 riders from Leicester Forest Cycling Club out on a group ride when a driver, apparently frustrated at being held up behind them, opened his car door, causing 42-year-old Simeon Diaz to crash, reports the Leicester Mercury.

The software designer suffered injuries to his hands and also sustained grazes, and a second rider, 48-year-old Wayne Henderson, was left bruised after he was unable to avoid crashing into his club-mate.

Both riders’ bikes were also damaged to the tune of ‘several hundred pounds.’

Mr Diaz told the newspaper: "The driver had his door slightly open and he was shouting.

"Everyone was just cycling past, hoping he would calm down, and as I passed him he suddenly opened his door at me, hitting the front wheel of my bike.

"He had obviously lost patience. He opened the door intentionally into me before driving off."

According to Mr Henderson, who works as a nurse, “The driver had been travelling far too fast for the type of road.

“It had been quiet so the group was riding two abreast and the driver had to brake hard.

"As the group rode past in single file, the driver began to shout abuse at us.

"He swung his door open with force into Simeon and it was clearly an intentional act of aggression.

"Simeon hit the ground very hard. I had nowhere to go but into him."

He added: "This type of behaviour is becoming more frequent and more aggressive."

The incident took place within a few miles of five other recorded assaults on cyclists that took place during July, leaving two with broken bones, and while thankfully rare, it does appear that this type of aggression against cyclists is on the rise. 

Yesterday, Leicestershire Police confirmed that they had arrested a man in connection with four of those episodes, one of which left a rider with a broken collarbone.

Earlier this week, we reported on another attack that took place near Nuneaton in Warwickshire, in which the victim sustained a broken arm, but is not being linked by police to the incidents across the border in Leicestershire.

In the case of the incident in Staffordshire, club-mates of the two injured cyclists did manage to provide police with the make, model and registration number of the vehicle involved.

A Staffordshire Police spokeswoman commented: "We received a call just after 10am on Saturday, August 3, reporting an incident on a single-track country lane at Thorpe Constantine, Tamworth.

"The collision involved two cyclists, who were part of a large group travelling towards Clifton Campville, and a silver Vauxhall Vectra travelling in the opposite direction.

"The cyclists, two Leicester men aged 42 and 48, sustained minor injuries following the incident but did not require hospital treatment.

"Details of the incident have been passed to the force's traffic processing office."

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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