The whole point is that these cyclists did know know anything about this guy other than he cut them off. They made their decisions in the isolation of that knowledge. The fact that he is/turned out to be nasty only became clearly evident AFTER they made their first decisions in response to being cut off.
I'm still sticking to my position here, to wit:
These cyclists made multiple poor choices that (in the balance of all probabilities) made the situation worse than it might otherwise have been.
- this is not 'blaming the victim' in the sense folks bandy the term about
- many folks above agree
- plenty of information in the story that backs this up
These cyclists were just plain unlucky to meet this a-hole driver and to have events unfold as they did - but there is a touch of truth to the old expression 'you make your own luck'. Next time they'll react differently as they have a larger database of experience to draw from.
I'm sure that in your great experience in playing cat and mouse with drivers that you are making a lot more decisions (and more nuanced ones) to keep yourself out of harms way (whilst also extracting maximum amusement) than the cyclists in the OP.