Less than a month to go before representing Australia in the Junior Men’s division at the ITU World Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland, burgeoning superstar Lorcan Redmond (Maitland Tri Club) finds himself on the mend after being struck by an automobile in Spain on Saturday.
The 19-year-old from Newcastle, who won the Holten ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup in June, followed by two top 10 finishes in the Magog CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon American Cup series last month, took to social media on Sunday to shed light on the incident.
Redmond posted via Instagram:
“Yesterday, I was the victim of a hit-and-run accident involving a van here in Vitoria-Gasteiz whilst out riding with the lads. The male was described as driving erratically before colliding and fled at speed once realising what had occurred.
“Luckily, the other lads weren’t involved. It’s just skin and three weeks to World Champs is plenty of time.”
According to Redmond, his team-mates and coach were quick to respond, including a pair of fellow New South Welshmen.
“Thanks to the lads who were so quick to help Lachlan Jones (QLD), Brandon Copeland (NSW), Sam Tierney (SA) and [coach] Mick Ferris (NSW) for going above and beyond the duty of call and looking after all of us.”
After a restless night, a battered and bruised Redmond also took an opportunity to publicly address the ‘hit-and-run’ culprit.
“Personally, I had a sleepless night last night, nearly throwing up several times due to the thought that someone could be so careless of another’s life. We were all in shock after witnessing how quick it can all end.
“For many of us, [the sport of triathlon] is a job. Just like a ‘tradie' uses a jackhammer or a chef uses a knife — I use a bike. So, if you can’t slow down for a second or wait a minute to safely pass — the truth is, you’re just a really sh*t person!”
Redmond’s close call serves as a critical reminder for those back home in Australia to always heed NSW traffic laws, which requires all drivers and motorcycle riders to leave at least one metre when passing a bicycle rider — and at least a metre and a half on higher speed roads.
The law passed last year, after a two-year trial, thanks to the diligent efforts of the Amy Gillett Foundation (AGF), allowing NSW to join Queensland, Tasmania and South Australia, Australian Capital Territory and Western Australia, all of which already had the ‘A Metre Matters’ law in place.
Most recently the Northern Territory also adopted ‘A Metre Matters’ leaving Victoria as the only state yet to adopt the law which requires drivers to give cyclists a minimum of one metre when passing a cyclist on roads with speed limits of up to and including 60km/h, and a minimum of 1.5 metres for anything above that speed.
"The Amy Gillett Foundation is concerned and saddened to hear Lorcan Redmond is suffering injuries from a recent crash,” AGF Media and Communications Manager, Sarah Dalton, told TNSW. "We are particularly concerned to learn from Mr Redmond's account of the crash that the driver did not stop to offer assistance. There is no excuse for this; stopping to assist can be the difference between someone surviving a crash.
"While we can't comment further on the details of the crash, and we focus on safety for cyclists in Australia, we are, of course, concerned with safety for cyclists in all parts of the world. Giving cyclists a safe amount of space on the road is a large part of improving safety for cyclists, no matter what country they're riding in. A Metre Matters road rules clarify the amount of space drivers need to provide for cyclists so that everyone can get to where they're going safely. We're pleased many other countries are starting to adopt safe passing legislation, and we're pleased all Australian States and Territories, except Victoria, have adopted this legislation."
The AGF was established in 2005 following the death of Amy Gillett, who was killed by a driver on 18 July 2005 while she was cycling in Germany with the Australian women’s cycling team.
The organisation has evolved to become the leading cycling safety organisation in Australia, driven by a core mission to reduce the death and injury of all cyclists, including triathletes and commuters.
"No matter why a person has chosen to ride, for sport, leisure, or transport, we need to make sure they are protected to get to where they are going safely" added Dalton. "A cyclist on the road is someone's son or daughter, friend, partner, or colleague. We need everyone to remember this when they see someone riding a bike, and we need them to slow down and provide a safe space. Greater safety for cyclists is greater safety for all road users"