A CYCLING race had to be abandoned after a dispute between organisers and police officers.
The Surrey League Road Race involved 79 riders completing laps of a road circuit in Henfold Hill, near Newdigate.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Mole Valley neighbourhood Inspector Andy Rundle
The race was abandoned after just four laps as police expressed concerns about the “dangerous manner” of some of the competitors.
A Surrey Police spokesman said: “The officers advised that if there continued to be a risk to the safety of both cyclists and motorists using the road, they would have to recommend the race was stopped. The organisers of the race then took the decision to halt it.”
But Glyn Durrant, Surrey Cycle Racing League administrator, said the police were “intimidating” riders by getting too close in cars, Land Rovers and motorbikes, as well as driving too fast.
“The referees decided to abandon the race because they thought the police were going to cause an accident,” he said.
“They were using excessive speed when approaching the riders, hugging the white lines as close as they could when they should have been slowing down.
“We have our own rules for cycle races; the race is followed by two referees and motorcycle outriders, plus a lead car. They didn’t feel the riders were riding dangerously, or they would have stopped the race on their own. These guys are extremely experienced in what they do.”
Mr Durrant said several cyclists might contact the Police Complaints Commission in relation to the event, on July 22.
“Most of them were very shocked at the attitude of the police and feared for their lives because of what the police were doing,” he added.
“The police were compromising the safety of the riders, as well as other road users, and deliberately trying to impede the progress of the riders.”
Neighbourhood Inspector Andy Rundle said: “Mole Valley is a fantastic cycling location and we are excited about the legacy that the Olympics and other events will bring us.
“We want to encourage cyclists to come and enjoy all the area has to offer, but we have to ensure that the safety of everyone on the roads is maintained at all times.
“Sometimes that will result in our officers needing to make difficult decisions, but road safety has to remain our priority.
“We are committed to liaising and working with cycle organisations to ensure that any events held in the local area do not put other road users or the cyclists themselves in any danger.”
Surrey cycle race abandoned after policing row
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