Also, could not help but see the humor in the below story. Replace Howe with Poobah and it reads like a typical Tuesday or Thursday COP evening ride.
The event, the next-to-last stop on the USA Crits Speed Week calendar, took place in an open field with a strong crosswind. According to Howe, riders were desperately trying to hold the wheel in front of them in the wind, and left-hand turns were forcing racers into the gutter.
According to eye witnesses, a rider trailing Howe was pinched off and forced into a field early in the race. A few laps later that rider, who Howe and others have identified as Jonathan Atkins, of Newnan, Georgia, caught up with Howe and began shaking his bike aggressively toward him, and started yelling at the 26-year-old pro. Atkins, it seems, was demanding an apology. “And then he started threatening me,” Howe said. “And then I made fun of him after that.”
Howe said a Kenda-5-Hour Energy teammate rode near him to protect him. “I thought it was all over,” Howe said. “And then, on the next lap, he came up to me and smashed my bars.” Howe recalls the accident differently than described on Twitter, where it seemed Atkins grabbed his bars or wrist and jerked Howe toward the ground. “I just remember landing on my face,” Howe said.
Howe said Atkins was still racing by the time the police arrived but that the rider later came over and said the crash wasn’t on purpose. “And I told him, ‘you better get a lawyer.’”
Reports from racers indicated that Atkins was handcuffed at the scene, but calls to both the local police and sheriff’s departments were inconclusive Sunday morning. Atkins was not arrested and said Sunday night that he spoke with police regarding the incident and that he would cooperate with officials moving forward.