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AMA Superbike champion shot in head while cycling in the desert

AMA champion Miguel Duhamel was shot in the head with an air gun while cycling near Red Rock Canyon on California

AN AMA Superbike champion has been shot in the back of the head while cycling on a popular route in Las Vegas.

Miguel Duhamel, who formally raced 500cc Grand Prix and MotoGP, was out on his road bicycle near Red Rock Canyon outside Las Vegas when the incident occurred.

Duhamel recalled the incident to local news teams, saying he heard a car following behind him and then a discharge of gas before feeling pain in his head. Pulling over and removing his helmet, the ex-racer then found blood pouring from his head before later identifying a pellet mark on his lid and a small hole in his cycling cap.

“A car came behind me like they always do but this one came up and I heard a shot, like air disperse, it went pow!” said Miguel Duhamel, talking to FOX5 Las Vegas.

Paramedics were quick to respond to Duhamel, although thankfully it looks like there is no lasting damage – other than a nasty looking scar. The situation could have been much worse though, with other riders on the road confirming that phone signal is patchy at best; had Duhamel turned to investigate the car behind at the time of the shot, it could have been a very different story.

Duhamel is best know for being the first Canadian to secure an AMA Pro Superbike title, a feat he completed in 1995.

Aside from the AMA, Duhamel stood in for an injured Toni Elias at the 2007 US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca. He pulled out of that race early with it reported that he was able to get to grips with the unfamiliar Honda RC212V he was riding. Duhamel has amassed 86 career wins in AMA Pro Superbike, AMA Supersport (winning the title five times), and AMA Formula Xtreme (two titles).

The retired racer now lives in Las Vegas and Visordown wishes him a speedy recovery.

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