• Andrea Vendrame of AG2R La Mondiale (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Andrea Vendrame (AG2R La Mondiale) has reported a vehicle driver to Italian police after being punched in a road rage incident while out training.
SBS Cycling Central

23 Dec 2020 - 7:35 AM  UPDATED 23 Dec 2020 - 7:36 AM

The AG2R La Mondiale rider was not severely injured in the attack and spoke to the local Gazzettino newspaper and subsequently other Italian media about the seemingly uprovoked attack from a vehicle.

Vendrame has been the victim of a crash with a motor vehicle in the past, in 2016 when a car cut across his path. He suffered deep cuts and scars after going through the car’s window and still has shards of glass in his neck four years after needing 60 internal stitches and 50 external stitches.

Vendrame said he was hit on the same side of the head impacted most severely in that crash in the most recent alleged assault.

“I was riding towards Conegliano to head into the hills at about 10:00am," said Vendrame. "I was inside the white line when a car passed me really close at high speed. Then the driver suddenly hit the brakes, got out and threw a punch at me as I passed.

“I was caught by surprise but I managed to brake and so didn’t fall off. I also managed to get out my phone and take a photograph of the vehicle’s number plate after it did a U-turn and almost caused an accident.

“I then went to the ER unit of my local hospital to be treated by the doctor who followed me after my serious accident in 2016. I’m going to go to the police to report the driver in the hope they can identify them.”

Vendrame is a growing name within the sport, a useful all-rounder who can sprint and climb with his biggest win coming at Tro Bro Leon in 2019.

The 26-year-old made an appeal to anyone who saw the incident to come forward as a witness.

"If someone saw this crazy gesture by a 40-year-old with a local Veneto accent that was driving a Volvo, I ask them to come forward," he said.

“I can only ask all the other drivers to treat cyclists safely: the road belongs to everyone and we deserve respect."