July 14, 2019 5:57 pm

Video captures near miss as driver swerves to avoid cyclists during Okanagan race

Cyclists on the highway swerved into traffic after other bikers fell.

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A driver on Highway 97 was forced to react quickly after a group of cyclists in the Prospera Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan race swerved into traffic.

The group of bikers were moving to the left, out of the designated race lane and into traffic, because of a crash that happened just metres in front of them.

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“It looked like one of [the cyclists] was kind of wobbling a little bit, so I slowed down,” Shaun Siebert, who caught the crash on his dashcam, told Global News.

“I didn’t expect them to come into my lane.”

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Siebert scanned the road ahead when he could see something could go wrong and was, as a result, able to swerve and avoid hitting the downed group of bikers.

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“I’m very thankful that everything lined up and nobody got hurt,” added Siebert.

Jeff Plant, the race director said he was “really grateful for the attentiveness of the motorist.”

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“Thankfully nothing worse happened,” Plant said.

Plant explained that racers are instructed to never veer into traffic, but the circumstances called for such actions.

“We beat it into our cyclists that they are to stay within the closed lane,” he said.

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“An incident like this where there was clearly a crash and the rider instinctively moved to the left to avoid becoming involved in the crash is understandable.”

Siebert says he feels that cyclists should be given more room to ride in big races like the Granfondo.

“Maybe shut down that entire side of the highway,” he said.

“It sucks for commuters, but it’s for one day.”

 

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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