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Police helped remove nails from road after several riders suffer punctures

A number of riders on today’s Wiggle Etape Cymru suffered punctures after saboteurs reportedly laid tacks on the route.

1,700 cyclists took part in the 88 mile course starting and finishing at the Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse in Wrexham.

Half a dozen of the riders, and one of the safety marshall motorcyclists were said to have had punctured tyres, but no-one was hurt in the incident.
North Wales Police were called to help remove the nails that had been scattered.

Sergeant Mark Jones, of the North Wales Police Roads Policing Unit tweeted: “We’ve had reports of tacks being placed on the road on the Etape Cymru route. Several cyclists suffering punctures. Very disappointing.

“Police are trying to clear as many as possible.

“Approximately six cyclists affected however they’ve managed to repair. We’ve had to lose one of the safety motorcycle marshals though.”

‘Cock Bank’ in Wrexham and near Pentrecelyn, Ruthin were the areas affected.

Nick Rusling, CEO of event organisers Human Race, said: "It's very disappointing. It's also dangerous – it could have caused riders serious injury. It's not a sensible way of showing dissatisfaction towards the event."

He continued: "There are plenty of positives though. The feedback from the cyclists has been amazing; a lot are saying they'll come back. And there has been roughly £500,000 worth of spend in the local area."

It’s not the first time the Etape Cymru has been sabotaged. In 2011 a number of riders got lost after signage was allegedly moved.

As we reported at the time, the organisers responded, saying

Unfortunately many of the route signs that were placed by us were stolen or moved, which sent many riders off course and caused major disruption to the event. The Police have had numerous reports about signs being turned to point in the wrong direction, and also being found discarded in hedges. We are aware that this has happened in other sportives and will be working with the local council to ensure we come up with a secure signing system for 2012.

The 2013 event was enjoyed by the vast majority of riders however.

This year’s event received additional support from the Welsh Assembly as part of its Major Events Strategy. Minister for the Economy, Science and Transport, Edwina Hart, said: "Year on year, the Wiggle Etape Cymru gives us a fantastic opportunity to showcase the spectacular scenery and hospitality of North Wales.”

She continued: “Following the success of this year’s event we hope to be welcoming back previous participants as well as newly inspired entrants as we continue to support Human Race and the event itself next year and beyond.”

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

18 comments

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 2 years ago
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Etape Caledonia has suffered for years with this from idiots and although the police tried to convict someone, they were let off

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1750nick [9 posts] 2 years ago
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Makes you wonder how they are going to stop these idiots sabotaging The Tour over here next year?

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Gasman Jim [142 posts] 2 years ago
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I was there.

In spite of this it was still a great event. Very well run (and with nice dry weather) for the second year in a row. The organisers, Human Race, are to be congratulated.

(BTW, there were rather more than a thousand riders. I make it about 1500 finishers).

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Gasman Jim [142 posts] 2 years ago
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Good point.

It even happens during the TdF. I remember Cadel Evans and others puncturing due to tacks on some steep climb during the 2012 race, when Wiggins then slowed the race for him to catch up.

There are morons everywhere.

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Cycle_Jim [264 posts] 2 years ago
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I got a push pin in my tyre, was a bit disappointing that some one did that but apart from that was a good day!

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Ghedebrav [1100 posts] 2 years ago
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With any luck any miscreants at the TdF will be taken to a damp cell and given the Zero Dark Thirty treatment.

Why do people have to be such idiots!? Then again, I say that to myself every day...

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Al__S [1008 posts] 2 years ago
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This saddens me. I guess there's opposition to the event in the area? To be honest, I was surprised there wasn't any of this at RideLondon

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bendertherobot [962 posts] 2 years ago
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There will always be opposition because it's quite important to pop down to Greggs by car on a Sunday to get a bean slice, take Gemima to the stables and, crucially, because cyclists don't pay road tax.

Of course, it might be a nice opportunity to stay at home, have a cooked breakfast, catch up with some good books, kick a ball with the kids.

But no, society demands 24 hours unfettered access to the world at large.

Roll on the zombie apocalypse.

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WolfieSmith [1317 posts] 2 years ago
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'Cock Bank'? How apt a name for the incident location.

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Simon E [2653 posts] 2 years ago
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bendertherobot wrote:

Of course, it might be a nice opportunity to stay at home, have a cooked breakfast, catch up with some good books, kick a ball with the kids.

But no, society demands 24 hours unfettered access to the world at large.

It's all about the economy, stupid!

The out-of-town shopping centres, massive supermarkets with 18 versions of each product, 24-hour service stations and McHorseburger outlets, they are all designed to get people to part with their money faster. If the shops are open then we are obliged to drive there, wander round and buy some stuff. It's what weekends are for! It seems to me that nowadays a lot of people want to spend money rather than do something constructive.

As for the tacks and nicking signs, we've all seen this kind of selfish Nimbyism before.

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Cooks [490 posts] 2 years ago
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I've ridden all of these events, and I doubts about the signs being stolen during the first year. I remember getting to a junction with about 80 others and there being no sign. We followed somebody's garmin, and rode on, but it was a good 10 mins before we got anywhere close to resembling a house, so if somebody did want to tamper with signs they'd have to drive out there...

Anyway, another good event this year but us cyclists aren't blameless, what with the amount of litter I saw....

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mrchrispy [444 posts] 2 years ago
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hehe - I think that was me!

...the guy with the garmin not the prick with the tacks  4

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Cycle_Jim [264 posts] 2 years ago
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By the way I should point out that there were many people by the side of the roads clapping, cheering us all on and saying morning/afternoon. So whilst there was some who were bound to be upset by not being able to leave there house by car (personally I'd welcome it as law that no cars should be on the roads on sunday, nor supermarkets open etc) it was generally a great day out.
It seemed many were very supportive! Also should say thanks to all the volunteers, police and staff etc who were brilliant! They made the day, wouldn't have been a fraction as good without them!
First time visiting Wales too, and they put a good day on! Would definitely return if not only to improve my standing on the Horseshoe pass  3
There was some litter yes, but I think (and hope) that mostly this was all accidental, I saw many people seeking bins at stops etc and emptying pockets. I doubt you can have 2000 people riding around without the misfortune of dropping the odd wrapper. I also saw a couple of rain coats too.

Sometimes this site seems to focus too much on the negative.

Can't the title be "Great day out in wales had by all"

The tack in my tyre, whilst mildly annoying, certainly didn't ruin my day.

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dave atkinson [6210 posts] 2 years ago
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we'll be posting a ride report later, as we sent one of our chaps to ride it

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MrGear [87 posts] 2 years ago
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Hello. This is my first post on Road.cc

I did the Etape Cymru for the first time this year, and had a great day out. I thought it was a well organised event, with lots of marshals, clear routing at junctions etc and my only gripe on the organisation was a shortage of toilets at the start area!

The number of people getting punctures from tacks has been seriously under-reported though. I finished the ride with a flat front tyre due to a tack in it, and I didn't report it at the time. I also saw lots of people out on the road with punctures, and I was riding towards the front of the event, so there must have been many, many more behind me. Luckily this was the end of my ride, so I didn't have my time ruined.

I enjoyed chatting to other riders out on the route, what a friendly bunch, and local support was generally very positive, so thanks to the majority of the locals too.

I'm very pleased with my 5:34 time, I saw Stuart Kerton of this parish finished just ahead of me!

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Cooks [490 posts] 2 years ago
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It was a good day. Organisation was spot on, route was good, signage was good, local support was good. The guy on the Mavic support moto that shouted at me for using tyre levers was good. The guy who I played leapfrog with for 60 miles was good.

The only real bad thing was that I had my first real bonk. I thought I'd had bonks before but I was wrong. Turns out all the other times I was just being a pussy.

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sm [376 posts] 2 years ago
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Cooks wrote:

The only real bad thing was that I had my first real bonk. I thought I'd had bonks before but I was wrong. Turns out all the other times I was just being a pussy.

 4

Ha! Love it. This forum needs a recommend feature!

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Bhachgen [111 posts] 2 years ago
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I also saw lots of people out on the road with punctures, and I was riding towards the front of the event

Careful. Any big event like this will see its fair share of p***tu**s. I did Wild Wales Challenge a couple of weeks previously. That had less than half the number of riders of the Etape and I must have passed at least a dozen riders changing tubes at the side of the road. There was no suggestion of any sabotage.