A cyclist was assaulted by three persons on Friday along the Schaerbeek Canal during the Critical Mass cycling rally, according to a report in Dernière Heure and confirmed by Brussels-Ixelles police spokesperson Ilse Van de Keere.
Van de Keere also said a police report had been made out on the incident.
According to police estimates, about 3,000 cyclists participated in the rally, which began at 6 p.m. During the event, held every last Friday of the month, the cyclists ride side by side.
The cyclist assaulted on Friday was attacked by three persons who emerged from a car. Another cyclist who intervened posted his testimony on Facebook on Sunday. He explained that the victim was shaken by blows received to the head and had to be transported from the scene in a vehicle. The man’s bicycle was also broken.
The person who intervened said few cyclists were present during the attack since most had been stopped for a moment by the police. He also advised people to allow cars to pass as long as the main bunch of cyclists has not arrived and urged the organisers to improve security given the event’s increasing success.
The attack was widely condemned on Facebook. In reaction to the post, people also criticised the concept of Critical Mass which, they said, pits cyclists and motorists against each other without reason.
A DH journalist who was present on Friday evening also reported on a man who panicked because he was unable to cross the mass of cyclists and take his sick wife to hospital.