Famous Italian cyclist Vittorio Brumotti was viciously attacked by 3 men during a ride -- and although the suspects escaped, he's trying to downplay the whole brutal incident.
Brumotti suffered nasty facial injuries during the attack which went down while he was cycling in Northern Italy. According to reports, the attackers were identified as Albanians ... something Brumotti considers a sensitive issue.
After posting a pic of his battered and bruised face, and made a plea for fans to avoid turning this into a reason to hate foreigners.
One of Vittorio's friends shot video of the aftermath, and you can see he's totally out of it. Vittorio says he's going to need surgery.
Brumotti is a serious badass in the cycling world ... who holds several Guinness Book records.