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“Unacceptable” – police condemn Staffordshire cyclist filmed taking 30mph tow uphill from car (+ link to video)

Dashcam footage showed vehicles travelling in opposite direction narrowly missing rider


Police have condemned the behaviour of a cyclist filmed in Staffordshire seen taking a tow uphill from a car – and that of the driver of the vehicle – as “unacceptable” after footage of the episode was sent to a local newspaper.

It’s something we’d expect to report on more in the context of a pro cyclist getting illegal assistance from his team car – remember Vincenzo Nibali getting kicked off the Vuelta a couple of years ago? – but this incident happened on a road between Tutbury and Burton-on-Trent.

> Video: Vincenzo Nibali thrown off Vuelta after being towed by team car

The Burton Mail says it was sent dashcam footage by Porsche Cayenne owner Eric Dowding, who had been following the cyclist when he saw him grab onto the car on the driver’s side, with vehicles coming in the opposite direction, including an ambulance, narrowly missing him.

Mr Dowding, who said he was travelling at around 30mph, told the newspaper: "I went to pick my lad up from Beavers, and as I was coming back I noticed there was a cyclist slap bang in the middle of the road and I couldn't quite understand why.

"Then it looked as though there was a car trying to undertake him, and the next thing he took hold of the vehicle and they were travelling up the hill.

"It was wobbling all over the place, on every pot-hole, and it was a road bike so it had very skinny tyres and he was just wearing Lycra.

"I think it's just ridiculous, absolutely bonkers.”

He added: "I can only imagine that they did know each other. The driver's window was open, so I can't imagine he would just say 'here mate just hang onto my car' if he didn't know him.

“So I think they know each other, and he's given him a lift up the hill."

A spokesman for Staffordshire Police told the Burton Mail: "Such behaviour on our roads is illegal, and unacceptable.

"Both driver and cyclist have a responsibility to act safely on the road to ensure their own safety and that of other road users.

"We will not tolerate such dangerous behaviour and would urge anyone who witnesses such activity to report it immediately, providing as much detail about the car and cyclist as possible," he added.

As far as we are aware, Staffordshire Police are not among the forces that have adopted the widely acclaimed close pass initiative originally launched by West Midlands Police last year.

However, in February they did retweet a story on the subject, asking whether they should adopt it – with some predictable responses from non-cyclists ensuing.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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