By Stephanie Wolf
BOULDER, Colo. -- Boulder-based triathlete Richie Cunningham was injured during an incident possibly caused by a driver's road rage in north Boulder County on Thursday, according to the Daily Camera.
According to Cunningham, he was riding along North 83rd Street Thursday at about 9 a.m. with three other professional triathletes, Ben Hoffman, Patrick Evoe and Joe Gambles, when a car recklessly passed them and honked its horn.
Cunningham and his friends were starting to descend down a hill as the car passed. Halfway down the hill, the vehicle slammed on its brakes, forcing Cunningham to do the same.
"I just had nothing else to do," he told the Daily Camera. "It was either run up the back of him or brake harder. Once I braked I just flipped over the front of the handlebars."
After Cunningham was thrown off his bicycle, the vehicle took off. Hoffman was able to chase the car, gaining enough proximity to get a license plate number.
Cunningham was released from the hospital Thursday evening and suffered a separated shoulder and a broken elbow, which might need surgery. He told the Daily Camera the injuries will likely keep him out of any competitions until after September.
"It's crushing," he said. "I was having one of my best seasons. I'm 39 soon to be 40. I don't have that much longer to keep competing."
The triathlete, who is originally from Australia, said he relocated to Boulder from Austin, TX because he thought it would be a safer environment for cyclists, making the incident that much more disappointing.
"To be perfectly honest, there are enough cyclists and courteous drivers that we have it pretty good here," Hoffman said of the city of Boulder. "It's just tough when something like this happens. It seems completely senseless."
As of Friday, the case was still under investigation. No tickets have been issued, but some basic information about the driver has been collected, according to the Boulder County Sheriff's Office.
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