The Macmillan Cancer Support Etape Caledonia cyclo-sportive in Scotland on Sunday (May 15) was again the victim of saboteurs, with tacks, drawing pins, staples and screws spread across the roads.
It’s the second time that the 81-mile Perthshire event has been sabotaged. In 2009, hundreds of cyclists suffered punctures as a result of tacks being spread along 20 kilometres of the route causing organisers to stop the event for an hour and a half to clear the roads.
This year, the saboteur’s efforts failed to halt the event. Organisers had spotted the items strewn across the road in advance of the event starting and cleared up before the riders reached the affected areas.
It is thought that the saboteur or saboteurs are disgruntled locals who do not wish the local road network to be closed to traffic for the annual cycling event.
Pressure group Anti-Closed Road Events (ACRE) are of the view that the event is illegal and are launching a campaign to get it stopped permanently, although it condemned Sunday’s sabotage action.
A total of 5,000 cyclists took part in this year’s sell-out event, with all proceeds going to the Macmillan Cancer Support charity.
Tayside police are appealing for witnesses or any information relating to the sabotage of the 2011 Etape Caledonia. They can be contacted on 0300 111 2222 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
A man was arrested in connection with the 2009 sabotage but charges were later dropped. Last year, Tayside police appointed a dedicated liaison officer for the event to address the concerns of local residents.