Rider killed in time trial on A1

Death of experienced rider stuns time trialling community

by Tony Farrelly   May 3, 2009  

road.cc news

Tragedy struck the Icknield RC 25 today when Gareth Evans of the Army Cycling Union was killed following a collision with a car.

The accident happened at 8:35am on the southbound exit slip road of the A1 at its junction with the B645 near Eaton Ford in Cambridgeshire. Despite the efforts of other riders who gave first aid while waiting for the emergency services to arrive he was pronounced dead at the scene. The event was abandoned and the A1 was closed for some hours afterwards to allow the police to conduct an investigation of the crash site.

Gareth Evans, was an army Major based in Germany he was back in Britain on leave. He leaves a wife and two children, just before the start of the race he had told one poster on the timetriallingforum how much he was enjoying his life there.

His death has lead to shock amongst the time trialling community and inevitably to the re-opening of the debate about the use of dual carriageway 'drag strips' for racing given both amount of traffic using them and its speed. Although ironically according to one poster on the timetriallingforum traffic was light this morning and marshalls in high viz jackets had been placed at every conceivable junction. Sadly they were not enough.

Time trialling has traditionally been Britian's most popular form of cycle sport and many riders favour dual carriageway courses because they are often the fastest and so the best place to post a personal best.

Issues of safety have dogged all branches of cycle sport on British roads - with elite level road racing shrinking dramatically over the last few years with high profile events such as the Archer GP cancelled in the face of police objections to racing on roads that are increasingly crowded even at weekends -  recently British Cycling went so far as to call the situation for road racing a crisis and the Government has set up a working group to look in to the situation.