news

Race v sportive video marshal clarifies incident details

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.

Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

Latest Comments