San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Cycling

WATCH: Taxi crashes into first day of Tour of Costa Rica cycling race

A stray, four-doored rider caused huge problems on the opening day of the annual Tour of Costa Rica cycling race Monday. On the route’s first leg in Alajeula a wayward taxi driver ended up in the middle of the street, causing at least three cyclists to crash into his car.

In the video, the taxi driver accelerates out of his parking space just as the first wave of cyclists comes down the street. A woman offscreen can be heard saying, “That is the dumbest taxi driver.”

When he tries to turn left off the street, riders crash into the side of his car, including one who flips over the taxi. The fallen rider then begins screaming, “Oh God,” and looks to be in obvious pain as the rest of the cyclists pause to check on him and the taxi.

In another video taken from the event, cyclists are shown going up to the side door of the taxi to confront the driver who is stuck in the middle of an Alajuela street while racing cyclists zoom past. The taxi driver, who was identified as Wilberth Arce, told local news outlets that the accident wasn’t his fault, and that the cyclists kicked his car.

“I’m out here trying to make an honorable salary and the cyclists are the ones who acted out with vandalism when they began to kick my car,” Arce told daily La Nación. He told the local radio station 91.5 FM that he was crossing the street when he heard sirens and tried to turn off the street. But just then, he said, officials told him to turn left, and that’s when he believes the accident happened.

Costa Rican cyclist Nieves Carrasco won the first stage of the Tour of Costa Rica, which kicked off Monday just before 9 a.m. in Alajuela. The 11-stage event that traverses the country ends on Christmas Day in Heredia.

Contact Michael Krumholtz at mkrumholtz@ticotimes.net

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epicatt2

What a thoughtless fool of a taxista! Hope he’s fined appropriately. And, after insisting it was the bicyclists who caused the problem –in the face of a video documenting the episode– he really ought to have his taxi license suspended and the taxi impounded for a month or so. I’m surprised that he wasn’t dragged out of the car and given a good working over by the other bicyclists…. He might be more cautious the next time he encounters such a race.

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Darin Fleenor

The street should be closed down/ markers with cones or flanked with the Police on all major streets arteries. Having a bike race on public streets with out closure or lane protection is ridicules, especially anywhere near SJO. C.R. please learn on how to stage a Bike Race to avoid this mistake in the future.

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Brandt Tronson

The cyclist is a faker.
He would make an excellent soccer player.

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Steve Hardin

The police escort should have stayed closer to the group on bikes. Then , Idiots like that taxi driver would not have been able to cause the problem. A lot of taxi drivers think they own the road and do not respect anyone else. I cannot believe that he said it was not his fault. I wish they would make him pay for any pain and suffering on the victims part. I think they should take his license away from him and all of the other drivers that break rules and drive like idiots. There are a lot of them here in Costa Rica.

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MisterGMC

In total agreement! You could replace: A lot of “taxi drivers” with just “Ticos” and that would be an accurate reflection of the wild and lawless drivers in this country!

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