An SUV driver dramatically interrupted the Mack Cycle Key Biscayne Triathlon Trilogy on Sunday. The Rickenbacker Causeway was supposed to be closed for the race, but the driver of the SUV inched out in the way the pack of racers who were riding about 40 mph. Miguel Tellez, the leader of the pack and one of the area’s best triathletes, struck the SUV and went flying over it. Luckily for Tellez, he survived with a cut on his knee, a gash in his head, and a concussion. Check out the Sun-Sentinel article and photos of the race, plus get a little more detail on the location of the crash at Spokes ‘n’ Folks. A participant in the race also offered a more firsthand perspective at

This isn’t your usual issue of a one-on-one collision where the standard rules of the road apply. The road was supposed to be closed for the race, yet somehow a car managed to sneak in. We always like to blame the driver, and maybe it was their fault. But where was the police officer whose job it was to keep vehicles off the course?

This reminds me of the incident at a bicycle race last June in Matamoros, Mexico. A photo of that incident at Sports Crackle Pop! shows a cop conveniently pulled out of the way of a drugged motorist who slammed into a pack of cyclists. While I’m grateful that this past Sunday’s incident didn’t kill anyone, I think it shows that Miami’s cops are as good at managing road closures for races as are Mexico’s finest. (EDITORS NOTE: the road closure was handled by the Miami-Dade County Police  and not the City of Miami Police Department.)

And while we’re at it, let me point out a difference between cycle racing and auto racing. Has anyone ever heard of a race car in an event like the 24 Hours of LeMans running into a car that had strayed onto the course in the middle of the race? Yet here you see two examples for a cycle race. Perhaps race organizers and  officials need to rethink how they close roads for events like these.

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5 Responses to SUV Driver Injures Triathlon Cyclist

  1. Felipe Azenha says:

    These races are poorly organized. During the last triathlon held on the Rickenbacker, a weekend cyclist collided head-on with a triathlete, sending both of them the hospital. These events are poorly organized, with the PWD leading the charge organizing these events. I choose not the ride the Rickenbacker when events are held there. Chances are someone is going to get hurt.


  2. Collin says:

    Fortunately the guy got out of the hospital same day. But I can’t imagine how that happened.


  3. Kathryn says:

    Miami-Dade Police, not City of Miami Police. I think it is important not to blame the Miami Police who are so supportive of our pro-bicycling efforts when this event did not even happen in their normal jurisdication. Thank you.


  4. Felipe Azenha says:

    I am under the impression that the PWD is responsible for the roadway layout (i.e. cones, lane closures) during these events. Do you know if that is correct Kathryn? And yes, the City of Miami Police have been very supportive of cycling. Thanks for pointing this out.


  5. Thelastword says:

    The Miami-Dade police officers were not in control of this intersection and are wholly responsible for this crash. Check their cell phone recors with the department. They were not paying attention.


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