A St Albans man is in “the fight of his life to try and survive” after being hit from behind while cycling near Macedon yesterday.

The 44-year-old was riding on Black Forrest Drive from Woodend to Macedon with two other cyclists about 10.45am when they were struck by a white Holden travelling in the same direction.

He is in a critical condition at the Austin Hospital where he is receiving treatment for severe spinal and neck injuries.

Another cyclist, a 27-year-old St Albans man, remains in a stable condition at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, and the third cyclist, a 29-year-old Keilor Downs man, was treated at the scene and taken to hospital as a support to the others.

The driver of the white Holden has been questioned by police and released pending further inquiries. Photo: Twitter/@7NewsMelb

The driver of the white Holden has been questioned by police and released pending further inquiries. Photo: Twitter/@7NewsMelb

Detective Sergeant Mark Amos, who is investigating the crash, said another car had overtaken the cyclists safely just moments before the crash. “One car ahead of the offending vehicle actually overtook them safely, and then the second one drove straight into them,” he said. “The cyclists wouldn’t have known the driver was coming. It’s a really horrible scenario.”

Detective Sergeant Amos said the most critically injured cyclist was “in the fight of his life to try and survive” after the crash.

The scene of the crash on Monday morning. Photo: Twitter/@7NewsMelb

The scene of the crash on Monday morning. Photo: Twitter/@7NewsMelb

The incident comes a year after Bike Safe Macedon Ranges (BSMR) called for drivers to look out and “stay wide” for cyclists following a string of crashes involving riders who were hit from behind by drivers in clear conditions.

BSMR president Margaret Douglas said the group wanted a 1.5 metre minimum distance between cyclists and vehicles on roads with a speed limit of more than 60km/h, and one metre when speeds were less than 60km/h.

“Many think the risks to cyclists are mainly in the city, but our riders are often put in significant danger due to things like hills, winding roads and higher speed limits in the country,” she said.

The driver of the white Holden, a 26-year-old Parkville man, was interviewed on Monday and released later that day, pending further investigation.

Major collision investigation unit detectives are continuing to investigate the cause of the crash and have urged anyone who witnessed the incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

– with Emily Woods