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Commonwealth Games marshal verbally abused by cyclists and motorists for enforcing road closures

The event marshal says he was accused of ruining a motorist's holiday, called a "f****** muppet" by another driver, and told to "f*** off" by a pair of riders from a local cycling club...

An event marshal at yesterday's Commonwealth Games road races in Warwick has reported abuse from motorists, recreational "cyclists treating the course as their own personal circuit", and being told to "f*** off" by two club riders, during his day of enforcing road closures to ensure the route was clear for racing.

The reader has been a member of a cycling club for 40 years and saw the Commonwealth Games coming to the West Midlands as an opportunity to be involved in a major event, but was left disillusioned and disappointed by the behaviour of some local riders.

> Bike(s) at bedtime: A podium winning special edition Ribble from The Commonwealth Games

"From the outset, we had been told that due to road closures and the resultant disruption, this would likely lead to an occasional hostile reception," the marshal told

Commonwealth Games 2022 road race (Will Palmer /

[Will Palmer /]

"However, nothing prepared me for being told to 'f*** off' by two members of the same, and presumably local, cycling club. I was accused of ruining a holiday by telling a motorist that they could not access the closed course and another called me a 'f****** muppet' for doing the same.

"As a marshal, my role was to secure the course and ensure that it was safe for competitors and the public alike. This involved me arriving at the Warwick road race venue at 5.30am, being on course at 6.30am and ensuring it was safe prior to, during and after the race.

"In the 30 minutes before the race, the course was required to be secure and accessible to the emergency services and race officials. However, this did not prevent a number of cyclists treating the course as their own personal circuit.

"In the case of the vast majority, being asked to come off the course was not a problem. However, in two instances I was told to 'f*** off' for asking nothing more than cyclists comply with the regulations."

Commonwealth Games 2022 road race (Will Palmer /

[Will Palmer /]

Having shared his experience with his clubmates on Facebook, Alex said another member had reported seeing recreational riders on the course during the race, even while race vehicles were passing at high speeds.

"I have no doubt that many will accuse me of being a petty official and jobsworth, intent on ruining their day of celebration," Alex continued. 

"However, had they been in a collision with one of the many vehicles on the course, leading to postponement or abandonment of the race, then I can only imagine that my colleagues and I would be held accountable for not exercising proper control of the race.

"I had no objection to cyclists using parts of the course both before and after the race, but it is that sense of entitlement and feeling that you can simply shout abuse if you don't get your own way.

"As volunteers we were very different from the sometimes overzealous security staff and most had considerable experience as accredited British Cycling marshals.

"On the day in question, I'd got up at 4.30am to be there and worked from 6.30am to 4pm with a 30-minute break to ensure the event went smoothly. If there were no volunteers, there would have been no event."

In 2019, a man was arrested by West Midlands Police after a marshal at the Vélo Birmingham & Midlands sportive was deliberately run over by a driver and sustained a suspected broken hip.

> Arrest made as Vélo Birmingham & Midlands marshal reportedly run over and left with broken hip

In a separate incident from the same day, footage showed another motorist ignoring instructions of marshals at the event and moving traffic cones to drive across the route of the closed road sportive.

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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Moonraker Mike | 1 year ago

Such a shame to hear that.

There didn't seem to be any issues where I viewed it (Hatton), and there was a good crowd enjoying the race. It seemed well marshalled and organised.

Rendel Harris | 1 year ago

Motorist, standard, real shame to hear that cyclists couldn't appreciate the regulations needed for an event that promotes cycling. I've seen this before at other races, notably the last time the Tour was in London, more than one cyclist tried to sneak on the course before the peleton arrived.

On a sidenote, I only managed to catch the last hour of the race but what a fabulous advert for Warwickshire and the British countryside the course was, anyone complaining about the inconvenience of road closures should reflect on the fact that it will surely provide a massive boost for tourism. I know I'm thinking about visiting now when it was never really on my list before, just looked fabulous.

zedbedboy | 1 year ago

I'm not sure how the 2 club cyclists were presumably local. Either they were clearly identifiable as club cyclists from their kit and therfore it's known which club they belonged to and where they are based or they were just cyclists who could have been from anywhere.

I saw many club kits at the road side yesterday from as far afield as Liverpool and Hillingdon.

mdavidford replied to zedbedboy | 1 year ago
1 like

Maybe 'f*** off' was said in a broad Brummy accent.

Secret_squirrel replied to zedbedboy | 1 year ago

I would hope he took a note of their kit and will write to their local club demanding an apology?

Miller | 1 year ago

Annoying for that marshal, no doubt. I was spectating at the roadside later on and had a great afternoon out. My experience was that the mood was very good-humoured and that the course was well marshalled and kept clear of random pedestrians and cyclists.

peted76 | 1 year ago

As much as I applaud what marshals do and facilitate for us (and their contribution really cannot be overstated!) sometimes the enforced rules can be a little frustrating. 

The shock jock headline actually doesn't seem so shocking once you read it. 


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