A young woman was allegedly pushed off her bicycle and sexually assaulted in the Bay of Plenty.

The woman was cycling on Matata Rd near Edgecumbe about 6pm on Monday night.

She was approached by an unknown man who was running in the area, who then allegedly pushed her off her bicycle and sexually assaulted her.

Police are appealing to anyone who was in the area around this time who may have seen anything suspicious, or saw a male running in the area.

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Detective Ash Clements of Eastern Bay of Plenty police said the incident was of "extreme concern" to the police and wider community.

"The actions of this male were unprovoked and have occurred in daylight hours on a very public road.

"Members of the public are asked to provide any information, even if it appears to be minor, to police as soon as possible."

• Information can be provided to the Whakatane Police on 07 308 5255, the Edgecumbe police on 07 304 9004, or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 111 555.