A young Newcastle triathlete - who is also the son of a well-known Hunter radio personality - is recovering in a Spanish hospital after becoming the victim of a hit-and-run while training with teammates.
A red Peugeot van ran down Lorcan Redmond while he was cycling with fellow Australian representatives in Vitoria Gasteiz, a city about 90km south west of the French border, on Saturday evening local time.
The 19-year-old suffered wounds to his arm, wrist and knee but no broken bones or long-term injuries - something his mother, Triple M Newcastle breakfast presenter Tanya Wilks, described as "miraculous".
Redmond had been in northern Spain since April taking part in a Triathlon Australia high performance training program.
He has been preparing for the International Triathlon Union's 2019 world championships in Switzerland at the end of this month - he was one of three Australians who qualified in the junior classification's field of 70.
Ms Wilks told the Newcastle Herald from Spain on Monday her son was in good spirits and would compete at the event in three weeks, describing him as "very tough".
"He was actually offering support to the blokes who witnessed it," she said. "He's a tough kid."
Redmond was the only rider in the small group of cyclists that the van hit.
Four Spanish men were first to arrive on scene, just ahead of coaches who had been trailing in a car.
"They [the Spanish men] said the guy that hit Lorcan, they saw him and they were frightened by him," Ms Wilks said.
"They said he was driving erratically. They said they looked at him and he had crazy eyes - in their words that means he [looked] either drugged or drunk.
"He took over them on the road a little bit before he came across Lorcan and the guys, and he smashed into him. People are saying it looked like it was intentional - I don't know. I think, from what the guys were saying, he was off his nut."
Ms Wilks was in Spain visiting her son the day of the crash. She was cooking what was planned to be their last dinner together before she left the country, when news of the incident reached her.
"It was awful," she said. "Luckily I'm near the hospital so I ran to the hospital and met them there and they did all the tests - they just said 'he's just so lucky'."
But Ms Wilks said local police in the Spanish city had not been helpful in the aftermath of the hit-and-run.
When they reported the crash, she said, officers wrote a report in Spanish and tried to get the young athlete to sign it - but a translation revealed the "fairy tale" document claimed Redmond caused the crash and left the scene. After some pressure, they ultimately got the police report to reflect that Redmond was the victim of a hit-and-run.
"The police are so apathetic," Ms Wilks said.
"They don't care, they really don't care. I know when you're in a different country it's the law of the land, but it's still a law here that you can't hit someone and take off.
"I think because we're foreigners, they just think we're blow-ins and we'll leave. They just don't get it."
According to records, Redmond has won three races and earned four podium finishes from his 17 starts since March, 2016.
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