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.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.