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 road.cc 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.
"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 road.cc.
[Will Palmer / SWpix.com]
"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."
[Will Palmer / SWpix.com]
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.
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 road.cc 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 road.cc, 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.