A man will appear in court in Taupo later this week after allegedly assaulting an athlete by pushing him off his road bike during a New Zealand Ironman training session.
The incident happened at approximately 12.45 this afternoon (Monday, 25 February) as a 49-year-old local man was training on Broadlands Road, Taupo for this weekend's race; his 8th Ironman event.
As he rode west a silver Toyota ute travelling in the opposite direction overtook a vehicle taking him onto the cyclist's side of the road. The cyclist, upset by the manoeuvre, made a hand gesture to the driver of the ute.
The ute then turned around travelled back up Broadlands Road and pulled over ahead of the cyclist. As the cyclist pulled wide to go around the ute it is alleged that the driver chased him on foot and pushed him off his bike.
The ute left the scene but a 21-year-old man from the Taupo area was arrested later this afternoon in Reperoa. He has been charged with common assault and will appear at Taupo District Court on Wednesday.
The cyclist was flown to Rotorua Hospital suffering from suspected serious pelvic injuries and a broken collar bone.
Police in Taupo want to hear from anyone who saw the incident or the lead-up to the incident. They are also keen to trace the driver of the car who was overtaken by the silver Toyota Hilux shortly before the alleged assault.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Taupo Police on 07 378 6060.