Sir Bradley Wiggins’s former manager criticises ‘selfish’ Hampstead cyclists – as he launches Tour de France book
- Credit: Nigel Sutton
Sir Bradley Wiggins’s former manager has called on cyclists to respect the rules of the road – as his book celebrating the 100th Tour de France hits the shops of Hampstead.
Cycle agent and writer Richard Allchin this week appealed to bike riders to help make the streets safer by acting less recklessly.
He was alarmed to discover just how frequently his fellow cyclists jump the lights after conducting his own observations at a junction near his Hampstead home in Fitzjohn’s Avenue.
“I reckon 90 per cent of cyclists go through the lights,” he said. “It’s every kind of cyclist – women, men, casual cyclists, racing cyclists.
“If we want to make the roads safer, cyclists have to stop acting so selfishly, and then perhaps the drivers might.”
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He was speaking as a new edition of his book Golden Stages of the Tour de France went on sale across Hampstead.
It is now in stock at Waterstone’s in Hampstead High Street and independent stores Village Newsagents and Photocraft, both in Heath Street.
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It was first published a decade ago but has been reissued to coincide with the 100th edition of the world’s most famous bike race – and updated to feature the triumph of his old friend Sir Bradley, who became the first ever British Tour de France winner last year.
“Cycling has changed a lot in those 10 years,” said Mr Allchin.
“With a Tour de France winner and an Olympics in London, it’s a much bigger sport and it’s our most successful one.
“Bradley opened the Olympics. It’s amazing.”
Mr Allchin, who was Sir Bradley’s manager and sponsor early in his career, added: “I first knew him when he was about 17 and he lived down the road.
“I thought he could do anything. I did a lot of publicity for him and always treated him as a champion.”
The 63-year-old was so committed to the future four-time Olympic champion that he even produced special socks and mouse pads with his name on, long before he became a national hero.
“I just liked trying silly things like that,” he said.
This strength of belief is echoed in the new epilogue to Golden Stages, written by Eurosport cycling commentator David Harmon.
The commentator recalls Mr Allchin insisting that Sir Bradley could win the Tour during a conversation at Hampstead pub The Flask in Flask Walk – more than a decade ago.
However, things have not gone so well for Sir Bradley this time around – he was forced to pull out before the race due to injury.
“He was very disappointed,” Mr Allchin said.
“Everybody who has a fantastic year in sport or anything, really – it’s quite likely the following year is going to be a let-down.”
Mr Allchin invited various cycling writers and journalists to write chapters for Golden Stages, asking each to focus on a single day from the Tour’s history.
“I tried to get one or two chapters from each era,” he said.
“My request to the writers was to get them to choose a stage they were passionate about and a subject that someone would find entertaining as well and historic.
“It takes some different approaches and I think there’s something in it for everybody.”
British rider Chris Froome is currently vying for the Yellow Jersey as the gruelling three-week race nears its Paris finale on Sunday.