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Etape Cymru route to change after locals object to lack of access to villages

Saboteurs who scattered tacks on route of 2013 event never caught

The route of this year’s edition of the Wiggle Etape Cymru sportive is to be changed following concerns raised by local people. Tacks were scattered on the route of last year’s event in an attempt to sabotage the closed-road event.

According to the Daily Post’s Gary Porter objectors claimed the event’s road closures last year left them stranded in their homes.

Last year, police described the tack-scattering incident as “Very disappointing.” As well as several riders suffering punctures, a safety motorcycle marshal had to stop.

Nick Rusling, CEO of event organisers Human Race, said the attack could have caused riders serious injury. “It’s not a sensible way of showing dissatisfaction towards the event,” he said.

A police investigation was launched, but the saboteurs were never found.

After talks between event organisers Human Race, residents and local councils, members of Denbighshire’s cabinet will meet on Tuesday to consider changes to the route for this year’s event on September 14 .

The changes will focus on providing ways for residents of the villages of Llandegla, Bryneglwys and Graigfechan to get in and out.

The 100-mile ride starts and finishes in Bangor-on-Dee and goes up the Horseshoe Pass, along the lower slopes of the Clwydian Hills and back down the Dee Valley.

The organisers have promised to notify all those likely to be affected and to appoint a part-time local engagement officer to promote the event and liaise with the communities.

Aside from the sabotage attempt, last year’s Etape Cymru was well-received. Human Race said the event attracted 1,700 riders and resulted in a total of about £500,000 being spent in the area.

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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