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Professional cyclist robbed of bike by Richmond Park machete gang

Alpecin-Fenix’s Alexandar Richardson was knocked off his bike and dragged for 100 metres by muggers on motor bikes

Alpecin-Fenix professional cyclist Alexandar Richardson has spoken of the frightening moment he was targeted by a gang of moped riders in Richmond Park yesterday who knocked him off his bike, dragged him along for 100 metres, then threatened him with a machete as they stole it.

The 31-year-old, who earlier this week rode the Belgian one-day race Binche-Chimay-Binche, was on a training ride yesterday when he was targeted by the thieves.

Writing on Instagram, he said that he was finishing his ride at around 3pm “when two motor bikes with four men and balaclavas started following me.

“I knew exactly they wanted to take my bike and started to think what the best thing I could do was.”

Richardson tried to get away from the robbers, but was rammed from his bike and desperately tried to hold onto his bike before letting go of it when he was threatened with the weapon.

“I turned around at East Sheen roundabout and started riding full speed to the cafe about 500 metres away. They simply rode one of the motor bikes into me at 60kph,” he said.

“I came off the bike and the first motor bike lost control. I held onto my bike however the second motor bike then dragged me and the bike along the floor for another 100 metres.

“After this they pulled out a 15 inch machete at which point I thought better let the bike go.”

“I’m pretty cut up and bruised with a swollen hip but tomorrow is another day,” Richardson continued.

“Please be careful in the area and note this is becoming a common occurrence in parts of London. The police have taken their notes down as armed robbery and hopefully the criminals are found. Please raise awareness.

“At least I got most of the ride in even if no file to show for it! Once again the wife to the rescue to pick me up,” he added.

Richardson did not give details of his bike, but it was most likely a team issue Canyon Aeroad.

It is the second violent robbery in which a cyclist has been targeted at Richmond Park within 24 hours.

On Tuesday evening, the owner of a 2021 Cannondale System Six was pushed off his bike by two men on an electric scooter and wearing balaclavas, who then made off with it.

Simon joined road.cc 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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67 comments

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wycombewheeler replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
4 likes

Nigel Garrage wrote:

I have no problem with Sadiq Khan needing protection, but I do have a problem with him taking his dogs for a walk in a park 5 miles away when there's a park literally across the road, wasting police resources and causing pollution. That is the definition of hypocrisy.

Like Boris Johnson going for a ride in Stratford, when downing street ihas several parks nearby?

Or is that understandbale because the parks nearby are Royal parks and consequently anti cycling? Perhaps someone with influence could attempt to address that.

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Steve K replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
4 likes

Nigel Garrage wrote:

Eh? How is Boris Johnson going on a bike ride in any way congruent with Sadiq Khan deciding to take a convoy of security to walk his dog? To go on a bike ride you have to travel a couple of miles don't you?

And unlike Khan, who pretends to be a cyclist, Boris Johnson is frequently shown enjoying riding a real bike.

Well, we don't know whether Johnson rode the seven miles to the Olympic Park or was driven there, because his spokesperson refused to clarify when asked.  If he was driven there, then it is definitely a fair comparison to make (particularly given the lockdown restrictions in place at the time).  If he rode there, then why wouldn't his spokesperson confirm this?

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wycombewheeler replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
6 likes

Nigel Garrage wrote:

Eh? How is Boris Johnson going on a bike ride in any way congruent with Sadiq Khan deciding to take a convoy of security to walk his dog? To go on a bike ride you have to travel a couple of miles don't you?

And unlike Khan, who pretends to be a cyclist, Boris Johnson is frequently shown enjoying riding a real bike.

Did Boris Johnson not have a security detail? I'd be surprised if the PM just pootles across London with no security. So Khan must use his most local park for dog walking but Johnsons security team can follow him anywhere before he rides his bike.

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Rendel Harris replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
3 likes

It's amazing, and hilarious, how often you post links that blow your own case clean out the water. So you've linked there to a Daily Mail article (tells us plenty about your reading habits) about how Mr Khan rode to work followed by his Metropolitan Police security detail in a Range Rover. I've already explained to you today how Mr Khan has a 15-operative security detail due to the threats against him that come primarily from rightist extremists; even the Daily Mail, that absolutely despises everything Mr Khan does, says in that very article you've linked to: "The Metropolitan Police provide round-the-clock protection for Mr Khan, who is unlikely to be able to refuse their heavy security measures." Whether it's walking his dog, riding his bike or even just sitting at home with his wife and daughters (where he has to have 24/7 protection due to extremist threats), Mr Khan has to accept the level of security the police and secret services deem suitable for him, perhaps you could consider that before castigating him for having a security detail with him when walking his dog, he wouldn't be allowed out without one. 

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mdavidford replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
1 like

Nigel Garrage wrote:

... if Mr Khan has decided that he requires protection...

He hasn't. The Met have. This is the point you seem determined to miss.

I think you understand the difference and are just being a rather naughty boy!

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mdavidford replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
5 likes

Nigel Garrage wrote:

According to www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-58734284 in a typically uncritical article, "After resisting protection when he was first elected mayor he (Khan) agreed to full-time police presence in 2017 when the risks to those around him had persuaded him to change his mind." That suggests it was Mr Khan's choice to get protection.

It only suggests that if you're taking a deliberately obtuse reading of the word 'choice'. In the same way that you or I might 'choose' to cycle on the side of the road where we're not heading directly into oncoming traffic, or 'choose' not to take our holidays on Mars this year, if there's not really a viable alternative, it's not really a 'choice'. As was pointed out, even the article that you previously linked to suggested he didn't really have much option.

Either way, it's not, as you've tried to misrepresent it, an extravagant act of self-indulgence, but an unwanted but necessary imposition on attempts to lead some semblance of a normal life.

I think you understand the difference and are just being a rather naughty boy!

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TheBillder replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
1 like
Nigel Garrage wrote:

Boris Johnson is frequently shown enjoying riding

He has a lot of children, yes.

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Steve K replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
3 likes

Oh, and look at the massive difference in the crime rate in London compared with Essex (82.9 per 1000 compared with 80.6 per 1000).  https://www.statista.com/statistics/866788/crime-rate-england-and-wales-...

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wycombewheeler replied to Steve K | 2 years ago
6 likes

criminals from Essex commute into London like everyone else.

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brooksby replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
5 likes

Nigel Garrage wrote:

...

He mentioned how he'd had a run-in with a group of 4 cyclists arrogantly cycling two abreast down the road a couple of minutes earlier, and I commiserated with him, saying how it specifically states the highway code that cyclists should not do this. ...

How does he (or you) know they were arrogantly cycling?  Maybe they were just cycling no more than two abreast the way the HC allows...?

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brooksby replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
3 likes

Nigel Garrage wrote:

brooksby wrote:

Nigel Garrage wrote:

...

He mentioned how he'd had a run-in with a group of 4 cyclists arrogantly cycling two abreast down the road a couple of minutes earlier, and I commiserated with him, saying how it specifically states the highway code that cyclists should not do this. ...

How does he (or you) know they were arrogantly cycling?  Maybe they were just cycling no more than two abreast the way the HC allows...?

Because the Highway Code rule 66 states (emphasis mine) "you should... never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends."

So was it a busy road or a narrow road or on a bend?  You didn't say.

(And - how do you know they were arrogantly cycling?  Did you speak to them, to ascertain their emotional state or their motivations?)

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Hirsute replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
6 likes

Anyone who does not doff their cap and stop is arrogant. Anyone who holds up a driver for 2 seconds is arrogant.

The rest of use would have explained to the driver why a group of 4 would chose to ride like that pointing out the various hazards and lack of sight lines. All the things most drivers fail to notice.

I had one last week over took me at 20 in a bend forcing me slow down. They then failed to stop in an obvious spot for an ambulance coming the other way forcing the ambulance driver to slow down. Really poor observation and planning.

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Simonl | 2 years ago
4 likes

I am amazed that this thread has developed into a discussion on knife crime across the country and the effectiveness of Sadie Khan. This is an existential threat to almost all cyclists. Don't tell me that the average purchase price of a bike by readers of Road CC isn't into the thousands of pounds. Combine that with the fact that most of the people committing such a crime probably struggle to tell the difference between a £1000 bike and a £ 10,000 bike and we are all at risk. At risk for doing no more than riding a bike !  We should be pressuring the police to do more, no just stopping the commuter school mum from doing 25mph in Richmond Park, spoiler alert virtually every car speeds in the park, or stopping vans in the park, thats like trying to keep the tide back. Police patrols until these guys are caught and jailed.

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Awavey replied to Simonl | 2 years ago
1 like

my bike was under 1k (C2W scheme) but you are right in that the majority of non cyclist public reaction to it is basically it must be worth ££££ ,because it doesnt look like a lump of iron or a BSO from Sports Direct. But then you chuck on a Garmin, camera, carry a phone with you, probably credit cards, and thats before the cost of replacing the groupset, wheels, it does all add up and makes you uniquely vulnerable and targettable.

tbh Im surprised it hasnt become more of a thing, especially with the moped/ebiker gangs, as you wouldnt have thought 3pm was a particularly quiet period in the park for other traffic/people to be around.

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wycombewheeler replied to Simonl | 2 years ago
4 likes

Simonl wrote:

I am amazed that this thread has developed into a discussion on knife crime across the country and the effectiveness of Sadie Khan. This is an existential threat to almost all cyclists. Don't tell me that the average purchase price of a bike by readers of Road CC isn't into the thousands of pounds. Combine that with the fact that most of the people committing such a crime probably struggle to tell the difference between a £1000 bike and a £ 10,000 bike and we are all at risk. At risk for doing no more than riding a bike !  We should be pressuring the police to do more, no just stopping the commuter school mum from doing 25mph in Richmond Park, spoiler alert virtually every car speeds in the park, or stopping vans in the park, thats like trying to keep the tide back. Police patrols until these guys are caught and jailed.

I think existential threat is a bit strong. Climate change is an existential threat. Losing a bicycle is not.

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unclebadger | 2 years ago
1 like

I must say this is pretty nasty business, especially since I commute through RP at least two or three times pretty much every week. 
I certainly hope they catch the bastards!

Guess it won't exactly be easy to fence a bike like either of them that but that's clearly not the point.

Best wishes to all affected by this violence.

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Rapha Nadal | 2 years ago
0 likes

BBC News this morning said he was riding a Specialized and I thought "I hope his sponsors don't get wind of that".  Fake news!

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Jimmy Ray Will replied to Rapha Nadal | 2 years ago
2 likes

He does have a habit of doing just this... wouldn't surprise me if the perpetrators were 'heavies' sent by Canyon!

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EddyBerckx | 2 years ago
10 likes

The usual racists are out in force re. 'Khan's london' and all that bollocks. Like there wasn't a knife crime committed in London before he got in or that the police and justice departments haven't been utterly decimated by right wing austerity the last 11 years...

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Rendel Harris replied to EddyBerckx | 2 years ago
8 likes

EddyBerckx wrote:

The usual racists are out in force re. 'Khan's london' and all that bollocks. Like there wasn't a knife crime committed in London before he got in or that the police and justice departments haven't been utterly decimated by right wing austerity the last 11 years...

I've aggravated the arthritis in my fingers over the years by explaining to them that there were more murders in London (with a smaller population) each year from 1990 to 2008 than there have been in any year of Mr Khan's tenure, but the facts tend to be drowned in a chorus of "Londonistan" and "real [i.e. white] Londoners". 

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Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
8 likes

Horrible experience, I hope it leaves no lasting scars for Alexander, physical or mental. A couple of times during lockdown, when the roads were really empty, I had two-up moped riders slow down alongside me on early morning rides round my manor (Peckham/Camberwell) and give me an appraising once over, then speed off. I'd like to think it was because I look like someone who can handle them, more likely they decided that 2014 Ultegra Di2 10-speed isn't worth it for resale value. I do hope this isn't going to become yet another thing to worry about on the roads, although to be honest I'm surprised it isn't more common, the risks of getting caught just grabbing an unlocked bike off a cyclist would seem considerably lower than going at locks with angle grinders.

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Seagull2 | 2 years ago
4 likes

Hope you are ok Alexander !

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Zjtm231 | 2 years ago
9 likes

Waiting for Nigel Garage to let us know that speeding cyclists are more of a problem in Richmond park

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cidermart | 2 years ago
6 likes

I wonder if they'll be bothered to investigate this? After all it is only a cyclist. Outfuckingrageous these fucknuggets need to be sorted now!!

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Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
1 like

Slightly baffled by the mentality of these thugs.  Is a bike thats been dragged down the road and scuffed to bits really worth it?

Or are they stripping it for parts?

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
8 likes

Tbh, they could sell a 8k bike for £500 and it is a profit for them isn't it. The same mentality where they cut through a bike frame.

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Wingguy replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
4 likes

Full DA DI2, carbon wheels, carbon saddle, GPS, handlebars... Ditch the frame completely and sell the parts (even scuffed parts in today's market) and you've got a couple of grand there. The thugs doing the stealing are probably just getting a couple hundred from the guys doing the stripping and selling but hey, a hundred each for an afternoon's work is pretty decent pay.

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Tom_77 replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
5 likes

Saw this on Twitter, I guess some people are doing the same sort of thing with stolen bikes.

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Ride On | 2 years ago
6 likes

Horrific crime. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

Someone somewhere will be offering some "bike bargains" for sale, a good reason to get provenance when buying second hand.

Anybody tried one of those trackers containing a sim that you can call and it transmits its location?

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open_roads replied to Ride On | 2 years ago
2 likes

Yep. Have one hidden - it's a dog tracker from Tractive and the battery lasts a good week or so when it's been turned on.

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