A pro-cyclist was attacked by a group of machete-wielding thugs in balaclavas on a ride in Richmond Park - who rammed him at 40mph to steal his bike.
Alex Richardson, who rides for the Alpecin-Fenix team with cycling superstar Mathieu van der Poel, posted a photo of his bloodied leg, which was injured during the crash.
The gang dragged him along the road for 100 metres, before threatening him with 15 inch machete - which the cyclist said was a “shocking experience”.
The 31-year-old - who recently rode in the Tour of Britain - was finishing a training ride in Richmond Park yesterday - which is popular with London cyclists.
He said four men with balaclavas began following him on motorbikes at around 3pm.
Alex said: “I knew exactly they wanted to take my bike and started to think what the best thing I could do was.
“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 60kph (40mph).”
The pro-cyclist said he came off his bike, and the first motorbike also lost control.
“ I held onto my bike however the second motor bike then dragged me and the bike along the floor for another 100m,” Alex continued.
“After this they pulled out a 15 inch machete, at which point I thought better and let the bike go.”
The Alpecin-Fenix rider said he was “pretty cut up” and also had a swollen hip, but added “tomorrow is another day”.
And he warned cyclists to be wary of the machete wielding thugs, with Richmond Park being popular for riders of all abilities.
“Please be careful in the area and note this is becoming a common occurrence in parts of London,” Alex said.
“The police have taken their notes down as armed robbery and hopefully the criminals are found.
“Please raise awareness.
“At least I got most of the ride in even if no file to show for it.
“Once again, the wife to the rescue to pick me up.”
Scotland Yard said: “Police were called at 4.01pm on Thursday, September, to reports of a robbery in Richmond Park.
“Officers attended and it was reported that a man had been assaulted by a group of men who stole his bike.
“He did not require hospital treatment.
“They carried out a search of the area but found no trace of the suspects.
“Officers took an initial statement from the informant. Enquiries continues. No arrests have been made.”
An officer from Operation Venice, the Met’s response to moped-enabled crime, made an appeal for witnesses.
PC Ian Croxford said: “Although the victim did not suffer serious injuries this was an incredibly frightening experience and we will do all we can to track down those responsible.
“I’m asking people who were in Richmond Park on Thursday afternoon to check for any video they may have showing a group of four men on mopeds.
“That could be mobile phone footage, dashcams or cycle helmet footage.
“I’d also ask people living or working nearby to check any local CCTV, dashcam or doorbell footage as this could be key to us identifying these dangerous individuals.”
Richmond Park Cyclists issued a statement warning bike riders across London.
It said: “Really sorry to hear about this shocking attack on a cyclist in the park by a motorbike gang who stole the victim’s bike.
“We hope Alex makes a speedy recovery, and we will bring this up with the park’s police at a meeting which was scheduled before this incident took place.
“In the meantime, please be cautious - these sort of attacks happen all over London, so report any suspicious activity you see to the police.”
Today, Richardson posted another statement on his social media about the incident.
The dad-of-two said: “Thanks for all your kind and thoughtful messages concerning yesterday’s incident, there are so many good people out there.
“Today is another day and I have a very positive memory of doing the Worlds last weekend, something I worked hard to achieve.
“That and my family is what I will fill my mind with. Bikes and materials come and go.
“Scum will always be there, but the degree of respect issued will be next to nil, actioned by moving on with my day exactly as I had intended to initially.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 quoting CAD 5103/07Oct. To remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
LondonWorld contacted Alpecin-Fenix for comment.
Richardson was recently fined more than £700 for urinating in public duing the Tour of Britain.
He was handed the fine after a picture emerged of him on social media, caught in the act.