Michael Ashurst, a rider for the Champion Systems VCUK Racing Team, has been handed a four-month ban for joining and influencing a race that he had not entered.
Ashurst joined the Frank Morgan Memorial Race on March 27 after lap six, according to a British Cycling disciplinary complaint, and "became involved in the event and undertook some racing moves".
The report from British Cycling says that Ashurst chased down riders and rode to prevent other riders bridging the gap to the breakaway, which contained two of his Champion Systems teammates.
Ashurst disrupted the race for eight laps and refused to leave when asked to by actual participants in the race. The first category rider was fined £100 and handed a four-month ban, backdated to the date of the incident.
Since then, Ashurst has won three races, including the Danum Trophy Road Race - a National B event. He will be eligible to compete again after July 27. Under British Cycling disciplinary rules, he could have faced a maximum ban of 24 months for breaching the code of conduct or compromising the safety of other riders.
Fixing or improperly influencing the result of a race carries a sanction of a ban between one and 12 months and an unlimited fine.
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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.
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