A CYCLIST fought off two armed robbers despite being slashed across the arm.

The 30-year-old man was riding along a cycle path in Heworth, York, when he was approached by two others who asked him for a light before dragging him from his bicycle.

In the ensuing scuffle, in which they tried to steal his rucksack, he was slashed with a knife or other bladed-weapon. He suffered minor cuts to his arm and hip and did not need hospital treatment.

He then fought back, punching one of the muggers in the face, knocking him to the ground. The pair then ran off empty-handed in the direction of Foss Islands Road.

The attack took place at 11.30am on Sunday, on the cycle path behind the former A-Team Taxis office, in Mill Lane.

One of the assailants is described as being white, about six feet tall and was wearing a black hooded top with black tracksuit bottoms, a black hat and a black scarf covering his face.

The second man who was also white was wearing a grey hooded top, black tracksuit bottoms and a dark jacket.

Police today said one of the men may have suffered an injury to his face after being punched to the ground and asked anyone with information to come forward.

PC Nick Thompson of York Police said: “We are keen to speak to anyone who witnessed the incident or used the cycle path on Sunday morning.

“I also urge anyone who may have seen the victim or the offenders either before or after the attack to get in touch.

“I would like to reassure the public that incidents of this nature are very rare in York and we are working very hard to trace those responsible.”

The mugging comes after another attempted robbery just a few hundred yards away on August 2. In that, a 20-year-old woman was dragged down the alleyway at the side of the Co-op in East Parade by two men.

The muggers ran off after the woman screamed for help and a passer-by intervened. Police are not linking the two incidents.

Local councillor Ruth Potter said the cycle path was generally safe and she would continue to use it.

She said: “I would hope it wouldn’t put people off from using the track; the more people who use it the safer it is.

“It’s very sad for the person concerned and I hope they are not badly hurt.”

Anyone who witnessed the attempted robbery or saw anyone matching the description of the attackers in the area around the time of the mugging is asked to phone PC Nick Thompson of York Police on 0845 6060247.

Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be phoned anonymously on 0800 555 111.