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Skiers involved in alleged road rage incident near Calgary

The Canadian Press

10/1/2012 6:47:16 PM

CALGARY -- Former Olympian Jason Myslicki said he's disgusted that a driver knocked biathlete Robin Clegg off his bike and injured him while the athletes were cycling northwest of Calgary on Sunday.

Myslicki said Clegg underwent surgery Monday to insert a plate into a broken right elbow.

"It's such an avoidable incident," Myslicki said. "It's uncalled for."

Clegg, who lives in Canmore, Alta., is a three-time Olympian who helped Canada finish 10th in the relay at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Myslicki, from Thunder Bay, Ont., represented Canada in nordic combined -- ski jumping and cross-country skiing -- in two Winter Games.

Police questioned a male driving a sport utility vehicle following the incident, according to Myslicki.

Cochrane RCMP said the matter is still under investigation.

Both Myslicki and Clegg have retired from their respective Olympic sports, but road race with the Canmore-based Rundle Mountain Cycling Club.

Myslicki said they chose to ride on a township road near the Springbank Airport with Olympic cross-country skier Sean Crooks because of its lack of traffic.

A driver brushed past the three men and honked before braking in front of them, according to Myslicki.

Myslicki and Crooks swerved left and Clegg right to avoid the vehicle, which then accelerated and knocked Clegg to the pavement, he said.

"The guy just accelerated into him," Myslicki recalled. "He came out (of the vehicle) yelling."

Crooks called emergency services. Clegg, 35, wasn't knocked unconscious, but his right shoulder and arm took the brunt of the fall.

Several elite winter athletes use the roads around Calgary and Canmore to cycle and roller-ski during their off-season training.

"It's a wide-open road," Myslicki said. "It's probably 10 metres and we're a metre and a half on the right shoulder. There's eight and a half other metres to manoeuvre around (us)."

"Why such aggressive behaviour to guys on the side? If someone was walking their dog on a leash on a country road, they wouldn't swerve at them. It's obviously an attitude that's very old."

The 34-year-old points out that bikes and cars exist in harmony in a city far more congested than Calgary.

"I've coerced at least a handful of people to get into cycling this year in Calgary," he said. "It's going in the right direction, but incidents like this . . .

"I was in London this summer for the Olympics working with the team and I was just very impressed by the respect cyclists got on the road."