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.