'Like being hunted by sharks': Cyclist's Coast nightmare
FORMER Tour de France rider and Team Sky manager Scott Sunderland has had a brush with disaster after he was hit by a car while cycling in Buderim.
The race director for the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race was visiting his sister on the Sunshine Coast and was out for a morning ride when he said an elderly driver crashed into him at the Main St-Burnett St roundabout in Buderim.
Mr Sunderland, a professional cyclist until he was 38, said he'd been indicating right to head down Ballinger Rd when he was struck about 10.30am today.
He said the driver, who was in his 70s, failed to give way to him and later admitted he hadn't seen Mr Sunderland when he pulled out.
Mr Sunderland said he thought the man had seen him, but quickly realised he hadn't when the car accelerated towards him.
"I've taken a big whack to my knee," Mr Sunderland said.
The 51-year-old was on a 60km loop from Diddillibah to Caloundra and back when the crash happened.
"He hasn't given way to me," Mr Sunderland said.
"Being an ex-professional rider you're very aware of all drivers.
"It happens quick. My bike's a write off."
Mr Sunderland was seeing a specialist this afternoon while the driver could face an infringement notice for failure to give way.
He said he was able to keep his hands free and push off the car, which ensured he wasn't dragged underneath and into a more dangerous position.
He called on drivers to "just slow down" and urged them to take a bit more time.
He likened having a car coming behind him these days as "like having a shark coming up behind you".
"Is it going to hit me or is it going to bite me?" he said.
"I've only got an instant as a rider."
Mr Sunderland said it was difficult for him, even as a vastly experienced rider, when faced with potential dangers on the road and those issues were multiplied for less experienced cyclists, but drivers were failing to make allowances for that.
Mr Sunderland divides his time between Belgium and Victoria and was an accomplished professional road rider who competed in about 12 world championships as well as the Tour de France, Tour of Italy and other major tours.
He's been riding since he was seven and has worked with Cycling Australia and the International Cycling Union.
"I'm super aware as a cyclist because we're so vulnerable," Mr Sunderland said.
"He said he just didn't see me. It is unfortunate."
Mr Sunderland said "the door swings both ways" when it came to cyclist safety and respect on the roads, but riders were always more vulnerable than drivers.
Monday's incident came after more than 500 riders gathered at Kawana Island on Saturday to pay their respects to cycling safety campaigner Cameron Frewer who was killed in a crash on November 5.
Mr Frewer, a father-of-three, died after he was struck by a ute during an early morning ride on Caloundra Rd at Meridan Plains.
The popular chef's death has sparked Unite for Cam, a campaign for cyclist safety.