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 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.