Cyclist suffers life-threatening injuries in hit-and-run incident

Christian Ashby, 36, was on his regular early-morning ride around Lake Wendouree in Ballarat, Australia, at 6.20am on Friday when a car veered on to the wrong side of the road and hit him head-on.

The keen triathlete and podiatrist was left fighting for life. He was yesterday in a stable condition in the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Detectives have released CCTV footage of a silver Mitsubishi Lancer believed to be the car involved.

Andrew Robertson, a friend of Mr Ashby’s at the Ballarat Triathlon Club, told theSunday Herald Sun the fitness enthusiast was a “well-respected family man”.

Christian Ashby's bike
Christian Ashby’s bike

“He is always out early in the morning because he wants to get home for when his kids wake up,” Mr Robertson said. “Christian is an elite runner. He has had a bad achilles so he has been doing the bike recently. He is a great guy. The kind of person who doesn’t have a bad word to say about anybody.

“Exercise is important to him but he gets it done early so he can be with his family. How a human being can do that to another human being is beyond me. Christian is held in the highest regard by all of us and our thoughts are with his family.”

Detective Sgt Mark Amos, of the Major Collision Investigation Unit, said: “Somebody out there knows this car and the sooner someone talks to us the better. When we consider all of the circumstances there are a lot of things to be concerned about.

“There is every possibility this was a deliberate action.”

Police don’t believe Mr Ashby was personally targeted but fear it was a deliberate action to hurt a cyclist.

“The driver will have known he was involved in a collision. To leave someone on the side of the road is callous,” said Sgt Amos.

CCTV footage of the car was captured from a garbage truck cabin video in Greenhalghs Road in Delacombe two hours later. The vehicle’s windscreen was smashed and part of the body kit at the rear was left dangling.