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Ian Bashford's Family Demand Full Investigation Into Death at Duo Normand

Mr Bashford’s devastated family today demanded a full investigation into the death of the experienced amateur cyclist, a “loving and caring” father-of-two who doted on his four grandchildren

His son Neil, an energy trader 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.”

Mr Bashford, from Bromley, served for three years in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers before joining the Met where he worked for 27 years before taking retirement ten years ago. He was appointed to the Diplomatic Protection Group (SO6), which protects embassies, high-profile ministers and visiting heads of state. He was the face of a recruitment campaign launched by Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2000.

He was killed when a support car following two cyclists from another team on the opposite side of the road swerved into to him and teammate Peter Gray as they hit 40mph on a descent in the closing stage of the 35th Duo Normand race.

Paramedics battled to save Mr Bashford for 40 minutes before he was pronounced dead on the scene. Mr Gray narrowly avoided being hit by crashing into a gutter.

On call: Ian Bashford (L) in front of then Prime Minister Tony Blair, Acting Commisioner Ian Blair Lord Harris, Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority in 2000 (AFP)

On call: Ian Bashford (L) in front of then Prime Minister Tony Blair, Acting Commisioner Ian Blair Lord Harris, Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority in 2000 (AFP)

The pair were racing for West Wickham-based Old Portlians cycling club, where Mr Bashford had been a member for 20 years and was treasurer and membership secretary.

The driver of the van, a 27-year-old man, was taken to hospital suffering shock as French police launched an investigation.

Mr Bashford’s family, including his daughter Victoria and wife Beverley, were said to be “in pieces”.

His son Neil said: “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.”

Neil Bashford 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.”

Julian Hutchings, 60, secretary of the Old Portlians, who was in Normandy with 12 other members for the race, said Mr Bashford, known as Bash, was the “life and soul” of the club. He said: “Ian was a family man, a passionate cyclist and he loved our club. He was a fabulous guy and a great character. “Hundreds of people in the south of England and rest of the country within cycling would know Ian Bashford."

“He was absolutely dependable, and always helpful and friendly to new members. He always offered to stop and help people with their punctures and other problems they had."

“He had ridden that race half a dozen times – probably more."

“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.”