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Vast majority of sportive riders followed instructions & rider arguing was not a sportive participant

The road race marshall who filmed a near-miss as charity sportive riders and road racers came together on the roads of Yorkshire has provided more details of what happened and the conversation that can be heard between him and a rider.

In an email, Scott Weston told road.cc that the rider he can be heard arguing with was not in fact a participant in the Cyclothon sportive, but the father of one of the racers. And the Cyclothon riders seen ignoring the road closure in the video were the only ones to do so. Weston says other participants were “friendly” and “compliant” and followed instructions “with good spirit”.

After the race passed through, the road remained closed for longer than expected, says Weston, because of a communications snafu between marshalls at the junction and the race’s trail car.

In the aftermath of the incident and the video, British Cycling called on the government to act to ensure sportives are better co-ordinated so as not to clash with road races.

Here’s what Weston had to say, in full:

I am the marshall who filmed the video of the confrontation between the charity ride and the road race.

A few things need clearing up.

Firstly the rider I can be heard arguing with is NOT a charity cyclist. He is riding the race route in reverse to observe his son who is racing the road race.

He is a gentleman who has organised many races and is well respected by a good number of people in the Yorkshire cycling community.

He also obeyed the road closures. I can only assume a moment out of character for his outburst.

The issue is with the charity riders that ignored my panicked instructions, and rode through the road closure.

They were however the only riders to do this during the three hours of the race, during which time hundreds of friendly compliant charity riders passed by and obeyed the eight closures when forced to do so and with good spirit.

After this video finishes the road closure is enforced for (in my opinion) an inordinately long length of time. To which I commented to the argumentative cyclist as such.

This was due to a breakdown in radio coverage between the trail car and the controlling marshall at my junction. However, I took my lead from the traffic control operative as instructed and the road remained closed until we could be certain no more racers would be coming through our control point. During which time several motorcyclists took it upon themselves to ignore the road closure and ride through.

I am sorry that the argumentative rider has been named on various forums, I purposely avoided this to save him any personal insult.

Unfortunately I have been informed that he has been the victim of some less than savoury personal correspondence, which I would not condone.

I did not expect this video to have such far reaching implications, and only posted it to three sites to show riders in the race why they faced oncoming cyclists on this particular lap.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

14 comments

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SideBurn [890 posts] 2 years ago
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This video is only really worth watching because of the stupidity of the chap in the Kelme top, and then he falls off  24 . 'The argument' helps of course but now we find this is nothing to do with the sportive...
I am sure that BC will continue to argue that they need to regulate (meaning: make money from) sportives. Starting, of course, with; "They shall ride with helmets". Because that would have made all the difference here would it not?

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GrahamSt [167 posts] 2 years ago
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Hopefully all the elitist snobs who were wittering on about the shouty bloke being a "typical sportive rider" will now eat their words?  45

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mooleur [537 posts] 2 years ago
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Very good of the marshal that, seems like a nice chap!  1

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qwerky [184 posts] 2 years ago
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The fact is that a small percent of population at large are idiots, so when you get a large group of people then you're always going have some idiots. This isn't restricted to Sportive riders. You could be talking about football fans, motorists, pedestrians, dog owners; whatever.

Unfortunately this small percentage always causes an unrepresentative amount of noise and can give the majority a bad name. If 10 sportive riders get into the local rag for doing something stupid then the fact that the other 990 are sensible is going to be lost.

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Ush [692 posts] 2 years ago
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Scott Weston at least comes out of this well. Seems like a decent chap.

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levermonkey [664 posts] 2 years ago
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A huge thank you to the Marshal for clearing up a number of points. Pity he didn't think to give these details when he originally posted this video. Better late than never but it would have stopped an awful lot of stupid ill-considered opinions and comments.  41

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SteppenHerring [328 posts] 2 years ago
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qwerky wrote:

The fact is that a small percent of population at large are idiots, so when you get a large group of people then you're always going have some idiots. This isn't restricted to Sportive riders. You could be talking about football fans, motorists, pedestrians, dog owners; whatever.

Unfortunately this small percentage always causes an unrepresentative amount of noise and can give the majority a bad name. If 10 sportive riders get into the local rag for doing something stupid then the fact that the other 990 are sensible is going to be lost.

This is known as Confirmation Bias. You only remember the idiots. As Dr Hutch remarked the other day: 15 cyclists waiting at a red light are invisible to the general public. A single cyclist jumping a red light can be seen from space.

When you're out for a ride, almost all the motorists (even BMW/Audi/Merc drivers) will be fine. You just remember the 2 or 3 who weren't.

I have misgivings about sportives, but let's face it, the 5 abreast wrapper-tossers* are in the minority. I know plenty of people from my club who are considerate, competent riders. If the tossers rode in a club like that they'd be called out straight away and it's a shame that more people don't go the club route. If they took up windsurfing or dominoes they'd probably still be tossers.

*wrapper - not Rapha

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Some Fella [890 posts] 2 years ago
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What i dont understand is that matey boy in the Kelme jersey isnt wearing a helmet and every sportive i have ever come across insists on one.
Was he not just a random fella out for a ride - got caught up in the sportive - wrongly assumed he wasn't meant to stop and just rode on?
Not condoning his behaviour - he is clearly a gormless wassock (Yorkshire term) - may explain something though.

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Colin Peyresourde [1724 posts] 2 years ago
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Revel in the beauty of a prime example of 'Northern Chat'. T'wer great! Scott Weston don't ever change.

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langsett [35 posts] 2 years ago
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Pity the video has been removed as it gives the debate context. The report says BC call for regulation or co-ordination but both events were listed on their respective sections of the BC site, where would it end, charity rides without numbers, reliability rides, Audax rides, and the clubs who are fortunate to have larger numbers?

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northstar [1108 posts] 2 years ago
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GrahamSt wrote:

Hopefully all the elitist snobs who were wittering on about the shouty bloke being a "typical sportive rider" will now eat their words?  45

Not a chance, just look at the comments above, this place has become the daily mail of the cycling world.

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duc888 [39 posts] 2 years ago
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following on from Langsett's comment...
The report says the BC have called on the government to make sure sportives are better co-ordinated.
Thats choice coming from the parasitic BC who are quite willing to take money from every entry, also have all the details of every BC regsitered event, which does include sportives and road races (except LTI/vets leagues) and then shirk responsibility for doing their own auditing of events.

All they seem to want to do is take the money. Get real, what will the government actually do. Push it back down to the respective Police forces and councils who issue the license to use/close roads before an event, and quite likely dont co-operate at that level.
The only organisation with a clear overall view is the BC, but I bet they will ask the government for more money to facilitate that process.

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russyparkin [570 posts] 2 years ago
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sportives should be regulated,

same as rr you should need at least basic bc licence and have to present it

marshalls should be present and if riders are riding like cocks they should be banned.

to many twats in hats just turning up and giving cycling a bad name

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faz. [23 posts] 2 years ago
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Please Re enable the video. There's no context and it makes the whole affair very hard to understand.