Guided by three-pointed star
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.”
PILOT VEHICLE: Jan Frodeno and Mercedes-Benz’s Richie Leech.
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.