The son of a London cyclist killed at the Duo Normand two-up time trial in France yesterday says he will “raise holy hell about safety standards” at bike races.
Retired Metropolitan Police officer Ian Bashford, aged 60, was on a descent just 200 metres from the finish line of the event yesterday when the support car for two riders on the opposite side of the road reportedly veered into his path.
Paramedics fought for 40 minutes to try and save Mr Bashford’s life but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
He had been competing in the event, previously won by Sir Bradley Wiggins and, on three occasions, Chris Boardman, with south London-based Old Portlians Cycling Club team mate Peter Grey, who managed to avoid the car.
The tragedy yesterday has left Mr Bashford’s family devastated and his son Neil, speaking to the London Evening Standard, said: “If he’s up there now I’m sure he’s bloody furious about how this could happen, so I feel it’s my duty to raise holy hell about safety standards.”
“He was taken out by a support vehicle for another rider from another team. I gather they were overtaking and went onto the side of the road my dad and his partner were on.
“The car shouldn’t have been there – that’s pretty obvious. Dad was 200 metres from the finish on his side of the road.
“How did this happen on an organised circuit event? This could have been Bradley Wiggins.
“If that happened everyone in cycling would be looking at making changes, but it’s a 60-year-old amateur cyclist from England,” he added.
Mr Bashford had belonged to Old Portlians Cycling Club, where he was membership secretary and treasurer, for 20 years.
Club secretary Julian Hutchings described him as “a fabulous guy and a great character,” who would have been known by “hundreds of people in the south of England and rest of the country.”
He added: “He was the life and soul of the club. Everyone is very upset to lose such an important member in such a tragic way.
“It’s people like Bash who make cycling clubs in this country – the whole sport relies on people like him.
“We have a number of ideas about how his accident could have been prevented and should have been prevented.”
After three years in the army, Mr Bashford spent 27 years with the Metropolitan Police, including in the Diplomatic Protection Group, and took part in a recruitment campaign with former Prime Minister Tony Blair ahead before retiring a decade ago.
He was married with two children and four grandchildren.
His son added: “He was a very loving and caring man. He loved cycling. He was a real family man and loved looking after the grandchildren. He was fantastic with them.
“He was an upstanding pillar of the community enjoying his retirement.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.