A CYCLIST claims a motorist deliberately knocked him off his bike on a country road near York, leaving him with a broken back.

John Bennett says doctors have told him he is lucky not to have been paralysed for life in the crash, which happened on Bank Holiday Monday on the B1222 at Naburn.

He now faces 12 weeks in a back brace - similar to body armour - to protect the spinal cord inside the fractured vertebrae, and is on high doses of morphine to relieve the pain, following his discharge from York Hospital on Tuesday.

Mr Bennett, 48, who is from Rotherham and is secretary of the Barnsley Road Club, said he had gone out for a day’s cycling with a friend, Martin Townsend, when the incident happened at about 10.45 am, about a mile south of Naburn Marina.

He said he was cycling ahead of Martin when he saw in his peripheral vision a car coming towards them from behind and it drove straight at him, knocking him off his bike.

“He, or she, meant to do it,” he said. “I’m convinced they deliberately hit me. There was nothing coming the other way and there was plenty of room to get past us.

“I face-planted straight over the handlebars. The force of the fall smashed my glasses and left a deep gash on the bridge of my nose, my helmet was damaged and there was a lot of blood pouring down my face.

“I was in the forces and have broken a lot of bones in the past but I’ve never been in so much pain. Martin says I was screaming with it.”

He said Martin was also knocked off and suffered bruised ribs and cuts.

“Hopefully, if we flood social media and the local newspapers with this incident, the driver might get a conscience and hand themselves in, or at least we’l get some info for the police to act on,” he said.

A source has told The Press that another cyclist was also involved in a near miss at Naburn on Monday after some reckless overtaking by a driver.

The cyclist, who does not want to be named, was heading towards Naburn Marina at about 10.45am on Monday when a car went to overtake at great speed and swerved towards her, leaving her uninjured but shaken, said the source.

North Yorkshire Police said it was appealing for witnesses or dashcam footage of the incident involving a man riding on the B1222 near Naburn with another cyclist, who suffered minor injuries, which happened at around 10.45am on Monday.

“An investigation into the circumstances is ongoing,” said a spokesman.

“A dark-coloured vehicle may have been involved, and police are appealing for anyone who has information or dashcam footage of the incident to call 101 and select option 1, quoting reference 12200087038.”