Police in Warwickshire have this afternoon said that a man they wanted to talk to in connection with an assault on a female cyclist on a canal towpath has come forward and is "currently helping officers with their ongoing enquiries".
Warwickshire Police said the incident happened on the morning of Sunday 16 July at around 7.45am as the woman was cycling along the towpath on Old Warwick Road in Leamington.
The victim was approached by another cyclist who then repeatedly punched her in the head before fleeing in the direction of Myton Road.
Officers last night released a CCTV image of the man who has since come forward, the police force thanking the public for helping spread word of the appeal.
Police described the incident as "concerning" and said they are continuing to support the victim who has been left "understandably shaken" by the attack.
Detective Constable Mike Woodland from Leamington CID said: "This is a concerning incident which has left the victim understandably shaken, and she is currently being supported by specialist officers. A number of enquiries are now underway to identify and locate the suspect.
"We believe the man in the image may have information that could help with our enquiries. If anyone witnessed the incident, any suspicious behaviour in the area or recognises the description of the cyclist, please get in contact.
"Information can be given by calling Warwickshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 72 of 16 July, or reporting online at www.warwickshire.police.uk/report
"Information can also be given anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their website."
While canal towpaths offer miles of traffic-free, accessible cycling routes across the UK, they have also been the scene of worrying attacks on the cyclists who use them.
In March, we reported that a 73-year-old cyclist in London played dead to get rid of muggers who violently assaulted him before taking his electric mountain bike. As the rider entered a long and dark underpass with a number of concrete pillars — four men jumped him from behind before pinning him to the ground.
Many incidents have been reported in Birmingham and the West Midlands, where the network of canals is famous. At one point repeat incidents led to a Birmingham doctor, who was beaten up by muggers, saying the opportunistic attackers were "preying on cyclists".
One attack left a female cyclist needing rescuing from a canal and surgery on a broken elbow. More recently, in 2021 too, a cyclist was pushed into the Worcester and Birmingham Canal by a gang of teenagers, while later in the same year police hunted a balaclava-wearing mugger who pushed a cyclist into a canal during an attempted bikejacking.
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.