Cape Town - A top Cape mountain biker is counting his blessings after fighting back against three attackers – and surviving.

Adriaan Smit, 23, a civil engineering student in Cape Town and a Western Province downhill mountainbike racer, had been returning home to Paarl from a braai with friends on Friday night.

“I left Brackenfell at about 9.45pm. I got a flat tyre as I was approaching the Engen garage on the N1 – about a kilometre away.

“I phoned my parents to tell them I needed assistance, and then stopped,” Smit explained.

“About a minute later, I was taking out my spare wheel when I was attacked from behind.

“They put a knife to my neck and one to my hip, and told me to get into the car.

“But I knew that if I got into the car my life was over,” he recounted.

“I reacted as quickly as I could. I was standing with my back to them so I couldn’t see them. I grabbed the wrist of the guy with his knife to my throat, pulled him towards me and hit him in the face with my free hand.”

A struggle ensued.

“I got one of the guys, but one then stabbed me in the throat.

“I went onto the N1 and stood there bleeding in the middle of the road, but [people] wouldn’t stop because I was bleeding and standing there with a knife…”

By this time the three assailants were looting his car – his bicycle, bags, study books, clothes, cellphone and keys were taken.

Three off-duty policemen stopped at the scene and chased the attackers, and recovered his bicycle.

“I’m lucky to be alive. The fact that I reacted so quickly saved me. But in future, if I had to stop, I would jump out and run to the safest place. They were after the stuff in my car – not me,” he said.

Cape Argus