A British pro cyclist has told how he had his bike stolen by a machete-wielding gang in Richmond Park, London.
The incident, which took place on Thursday afternoon, left Alexandar Richardson with cuts and grazes after he was thrown off his bike by a motorcycle rider.
Writing about it on Instagram, he said that four men wearing balaclavas started to follow him on two motorcycles after he had finished his 3pm training ride.
“I knew exactly they wanted to take my bike and started to think what the best thing I could do was,” he wrote. “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 60 kph.”
Mr Richardson fell over but managed to hold onto his bike but then he described being dragged “along the floor for another 100 metres” by the second motorcycle.
One of the assailants then “pulled out a 15 inch machete at which point I thought better and let the bike go”, Mr Richardson said.
Metropolitan Police said they were called to the scene at around 4pm on Thursday to reports of a robbery in Richmond Park, a popular training area for London’s cyclists.
Officers attended the scene and carried out a search of the area but found no trace of the suspects.
They took a statement from Mr Richardson and enquiries are ongoing.
Mr Richardson said on social media: “I’m pretty cut up and bruised with a swollen hip but tomorrow is another day”.
He warned fellow cyclists, saying: “Please be careful in the area and note this is becoming a common occurrence in parts of London.”
Writing on Friday morning about the attack, he added: “If I’ve learnt anything from my time in cycling it’s don’t let negativity influence your productivity… Today is another day and I have a very positive memory of doing the worlds last weekend, something I worked hard to achieve.”
Mr Richardson is a professional cyclist who currently rides for Alpecin-Fenix.
A total of total74,573 bikes were reported stolen in England and Wales last year, with Greater London having the highest rate of crime.