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Tack-attack and hit-and-run motorist disrupt Cheshire Classic

Race shortened as 16-year-old Lucy Garner of Motorpoint triumphs over star names in field

One of the organisers of Woman’s National Road series race the Cheshire Classic has hit out at the unknown saboteurs who sprinkled tacks on the route last Sunday, which together with a delay caused by a rider being hit by a car, led to the event being shortened by two laps.

Dave Astles, press officer for Weaver Valley Cycling Club, which organises the race, told the Northwich Guardian: “I was marshalling at the top of the lane and one of the girls came up with a flat tyre with a tack in it.

“We then sent a search party on the lane and picked up something like a cupful of these tacks and we believe they were put there on purpose.

“There were quite a few punctures - one of the service vehicles had run out of spare wheels.

He continued: “It is very understandable they could have caused an accident by the punctures, especially if you get a puncture in the front, as it becomes very unstable.

Mr Astles added: “The thing that grates everyone is we are nearly in an Olympic year.

“The Olympics is going to be held in London and quite a few of the girls are Olympic hopefuls and they are getting this sort of treatment from a minority of the public.”

The newspaper added that police had confirmed that one of the women riding in the race was injured after being hit by a car on the A49. The driver did not stop.

Lucy Garner of Motorpoint, aged just 16, won the race in a bunch sprint contested by the leading group, in a race that featured experienced, big-name riders such as Olympic individual pursuit champion Rebecca Romero and multiple Paralympic champion Sarah Storey.

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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