Incidents both took place last week and each involved three men attacking riders and taking their bikes

Two police forces have issued appeals to try and track down men who last week robbed cyclists of their bikes in mugging incidents, one in St Neots, Cambridgeshire, the other in a suburb of Bristol.

The first incident took place in St Neots last Wednesday 12 December at around 7am as the 30-year-old victim rode to work along a path near St Mary’s Church, between Peppercorn Lane and School Lane.

Three men pushed him off his bike, punching and kicking him before escaping the scene with his bicycle, and leaving the victim shaken and with minor injuries.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary described the suspects as “black, aged in their 20s, 5'8", medium build and short hair. They wore dark jackets, jogging bottoms and grey trainers. One of the men wore glasses.”

DC Derek Cornhill of Cambridgeshire Constabulary commented: "I would like to hear from anyone who has any information about this incident or may have seen these men in the area at the time."

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact DC Cornhill on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

The incident in Bristol took place last Friday 14 December at 1235am, when a cyclist riding along Wells Road in Totterdown was approached by three men close to the Tesco store.

Police say the victim was hit in the face with an unknown object, needing five stitches and causing nerve damage that means he is unable to smile.

The trio stole his bike and were last seen heading past the Oxford pub.

According to Avon & Somerset Police, the suspects are:

- a white man in his late teens or early 20s, 5'9" – 5'10" tall with a medium build and short, shaved dark hair. He was clean shaven and wearing dark casual clothing

- a white man in his late teens or early 20s, 5'8" – 5'9" and with an average build. He was wearing sandy trousers, a blue sleeveless body warmer and black gloves

- a white man in his late teens or early 20s, 5'7" with an average build and dressed in dark clothing.

Police say they have launched a detailed investigation and are asking anyone who witnessed the robbery or saw the suspects in the area to contact PC Chris Shaw on 101.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.