"Saboteurs cause chaos at massive bicycle race by spreading carpet tacks over the road
May 18 2009 By Mark McGivern
SABOTEURS put thousands of cyclists at risk yesterday by scattering tacks on the road in a bid to ruin a huge race.
The 81-mile Etape Caledonia race in Perthshire was thrown into chaos as the tiny tacks punctured nearly 100 of the cyclists' tyres, throwing some of them off their bikes.
Organisers acted quickly to stop cyclists coming up to the area targeted by thewreckers and the road was swept clear.
But furious racers and locals said the vandalism could have caused serious injury. The sabotage follows protests over road closures in previous years.
Some locals are angry that all roads on the route are closed for eight hours.
More than 3700 people took part in the race, which begins and ends in Pitlochry, yesterday.
Organiser Kathy James, who runs a bed and breakfast in Aberfeldy, said the race brings millions of pounds to the area.
She said: "Someone has gone around in a car spreading these tacks just before the roads closed and the race started.
"They've spread them from Rannoch down to us - tiny, tiny carpet tacks. They've just spread the road with them.
"It's a terrible thing to do. This could have caused serious injury to somone coming off their bike.
"It beggars belief that someone would do this. This could mean that they never have this event here again.
"This race was great for the area and brought in loads of business. I have seen people coming here from all over Europe but will they want to come near here again after this shocking and dangerous act?"..."