Guided by three-pointed star

Multisport Mecca - - News -

OLYMPIC gold medal­list and two-time world Iron­man cham­pion triath­lete Jan Fro­deno has an ex­tra set of eyes on the road.

Mercedes-Benz Sun­shine Coast sup­plied a new A200 pi­lot ve­hi­cle fol­low­ing a re­cent close call for the en­durance su­per­star, who spends half his year at Noosa with wife Emma (nee Snowsill) and their two chil­dren.

Dur­ing Jan­uary, Frodeo was at­tacked by a truck driver.

“A big truck was com­ing out from my left and he ran over a stop sign ba­si­cally as I was com­ing past. All I could see was these cap­i­tal MACK let­ters com­ing at me. He wasn’t go­ing to stop,” Fro­deno said.

“I let out of scream won­der­ing if this guy had not seen me. He missed me by not much more than a cen­time­tre or two. I was think­ing I wasn’t go­ing to see my fam­ily again.

“The guy then had the time to stop and wind down his pas­sen­ger win­dow in or­der to talk to me and abuse me and ba­si­cally say­ing he was aim­ing for me and that I was, I quote, ‘a fag­got’ for rid­ing around in Ly­cra and I wasn’t worth the air I’m breath­ing.

“I’d never met this guy. Who does that? It was so weird. It’s this level of ag­gres­sion I’ve seen nowhere else in the world.

“This is my job. This is what I do to feed my fam­ily. I have two cars on which I pay tax and a scooter on which I pay tax. That some­one dis­likes the cloth­ing I wear to do my job is the worst ar­gu­ment ever.

“You don’t go to a work­place and throw a wreck­ing ball at a build­ing be­cause you don’t like hi-vis cloth­ing. It’s ridicu­lous.

“I just haven’t quite got over it. I’ve got a young kid and an­other one com­ing. Every time they aim for some­body it’s es­sen­tially man­slaugh­ter. Peo­ple die.”

Fro­deno is an am­bas­sador for Mercedes-Benz and Sun­shine Coast dealer prin­ci­pal Cameron O’Hara said the pi­lot ve­hi­cle would help him train with peace of mind.

“We are very proud to be able to as­sist Jan in his train­ing by way of sup­ply­ing a cy­cling pi­lot ve­hi­cle in or­der to keep him safe while he is rid­ing on the roads of the Sun­shine Coast,” O’Hara said.

“We hope this ve­hi­cle will give him peace of mind while cy­cling and ul­ti­mately as­sist his ef­forts in se­cur­ing the Iron­man World Cham­pi­onship for the third time.”

On Satur­day, Fro­deno joined a pelo­ton of Mercedes-Benz Sun­shine Coast staff and clients on an ex­clu­sive 50km ride along the coast.

“We launched the MercedesBenz Sun­shine Coast Cy­cling Club as we have a num­ber of staff and clients who are keen cy­clists, they meet reg­u­larly for rides across the re­gion and it’s a real high­light for them to get out and en­joy rid­ing to­gether,” O’Hara said.

“Jan was su­per keen to join the group and he passed on some in­valu­able tips to the cy­cling club mem­bers.”

PHO­TOS: JOHN MCCUTCHEON

PI­LOT VE­HI­CLE: Jan Fro­deno and Mercedes-Benz’s Richie Leech.

PHOTO: GRANT ED­WARDS

Al­bert Lorza and Cy­cle Zone Mooloolaba co-owner John Carey. Mercedes-Benz Sun­shine Coast cy­clists join Jan Fro­deno for a group ride.

John Miles, Stan Lunt and Kevin Dent.

RIGHT: Kevin Wil­liams and Will Car­roll.

ABOVE: Ge­off Pfeif­fer and Kelvin Lar­wood.

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