A New Forest cyclist has reportedly suffered a broken collarbone as a result of attempts to sabotage a sportive ride there at the weekend – ironically, not one of the participants, but a local who is said to have been riding to work along the same route earlier in the day.
The Southern Daily Echo says it was alerted to the incident by a comment made to its coverage of the weekend’s disruption to the Wiggle New Forest Spring Sportive by a friend of the unfortunate cyclist.
The identity of the rider is unknown, and the newspaper says that a poster going by the name cyclejim wrote: “ “His wheel caught one of a number of tacks thrown onto that particular part of the road, which blew his tyre and caused him to fall and break his collarbone.
“I hope whoever did that is satisfied.
“Who has been causing the real danger on Forest roads this weekend?”
The newspaper says however that a spokesman for South Central Ambulance had said that the only incident they dealt with on Saturday involved a 50-year-old woman who injured her hip after coming off her bike on Saturday lunchtime.
As we reported yesterday, Saturday saw attempts to sabotage the event including drawing pins being scattered on the road, signs being changed or ripped down, and motorists deliberately driving slowly in an attempt to impede riders.
When he was told of the injury suffered by the mystery cyclist, Martin Barden of organisers UK Cycling Events, said: “My thoughts go out to him – it’s obviously dreadful and this is not just fun and games it is putting people’s lives in danger.
“Normally locals welcome us and have been very supportive but we are talking about a very small minority of protesters and a handful of hardcore vigilantes causing mayhem.
“Their aim was to protect the Forest but chucking down tacks doesn’t just endanger cyclists and motorists, it hurts Forest animals too,” he added.
Chief Inspector Tony Rowlinson of Hampshire Police said that the force was trying to identify the saboteurs.
“We support people’s rights to lawful, peaceful protest but for those that break the law we will take action,” he explained.
“We are now following up on information to find those responsible for the criminal damage caused during the Sportive.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc 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.