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UCI Cycling World Championships road race stopped as protester reportedly “cements hand to road”

The almost hour-long interruption, claimed by environmental group This Is Rigged, halted the riders eighty kilometres into today’s race, and led to five people being arrested

Protesters put an almost hour-long halt to today’s UCI Cycling World Championships men's road race in Scotland, blocking the road – with one reportedly cementing their hand to the surface – and forcing the riders to stop eighty kilometres into the route between Edinburgh and the finishing circuits in Glasgow.

As the riders entered a hilly section of the route between Bonnybridge and Lennoxtown, approaching Crow Road, a strong nine-rider breakaway containing Great Britain’s Owain Doull and Ireland’s Rory Townsend was stopped with 191km remaining due to the protest.

A group of chasers and the main peloton (who, of course, were unable to be informed in advance due to the lack of race radios at the world championships) were also stopped as the race organisers dealt with the incident which, according to GCN-Eurosport commentator Adam Blythe, involved one or more protesters “cementing their hand to the road”.

Environmental group This Is Rigged have claimed responsibility for the protest and said four of its activists were involved. Police Scotland also confirmed that five people were arrested after the road was cleared.

This is Rigged recently targeted the Scottish Parliament and the Grangemouth oil and gas petrochemical plant, the largest manufacturing site of cycling team sponsor Ineos.

In a statement, one of the protesters, 21-year-old Cat, said: “The fact that Ineos has been allowed to sponsor a team in the race around the Campsie Fells – which were engulfed in wildfires last month – is a disgrace and an insult to the both cycling community and the people of Scotland.

“We cannot continue with business as usual while our country burns and our futures are ruined. Time is of the essence and we need to act like it. The Scottish government must stand up to Westminster and oppose all new oil and gas, and implement a fair transition now.”

Glasgow world championships road race stopped due to protest (GCN)

In the wake of the sudden race stoppage, Police Scotland confirmed that it was "aware of a protest in the Carron Valley area" and "officers are currently in attendance and engaging with protesters".

Images circulating also appear to confirm that the protest involved cement, as officers took over half an hour to remove the protesters and begin to clear the road.

The UCI said it was "working closely with all relevant authorities to minimise disruption to the race and also to ensure the safety of riders as our paramount concern".

Glasgow world championships road race stopped due to protest (GCN) 5

UCI President David Lappartient also told the riders that, while the bunch could be swiftly rerouted to allow the race to restart, the lengthy delay owed to the fact that it would prove much more difficult to reroute the event’s vast cavalcade of motor vehicles, including medical and emergency personnel.

The neutralisation was eventually ended at 12.15pm, over fifty minutes after the riders initially stopped, with the groups heading back up the road according to their corresponding time gaps before the protest halted the race.

Glasgow world championships road race stopped due to protest (GCN) 2

> “They’re protesting about a good thing”: Tour de France riders, organisers and journalists react to climate protest

Of course, this isn’t the first time that climate protesters have put a stop to a major cycling race by blocking the road.

Just last year, activists from the French environmental campaign group Dernière Rénovation staged two protests at the Tour de France.

The first, on stage 13, saw EF Education-EasyPost’s Alberto Bettiol stopped in his tracks by a group of protesters who sat tied to each other across the road, blocking the race’s path, while setting off flares.

The protest, which forced the stage to be paused for over ten minutes, was quickly claimed by Dernière Rénovation, who accompanied a photo of the demonstration on their website with the caption: “Non-violent disruption is our last chance to be heard and avoid the worst consequences of global warming.”

Some of the eight protesters also wore t-shirts with the slogan “We have 989 days left”, in an attempt to highlight the urgent need for governments to act on the climate crisis.

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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42 comments

Avatar
IanMK | 11 months ago
1 like

Just in case anyone hasn't seen the latest Jonathan Pie
https://youtube.com/watch?v=8Y_0rjKfyzw&feature=share

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hawkinspeter replied to IanMK | 11 months ago
1 like

IanMK wrote:

Just in case anyone hasn't seen the latest Jonathan Pie https://youtube.com/watch?v=8Y_0rjKfyzw&feature=share

I'm not a huge fan of Jonathan Pie as his rants can get a bit too shouty, but that one is bang on the money.

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dottgl | 11 months ago
4 likes

Thank them they were enthusiasts trying to fix the potholes!

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boardmanrider | 11 months ago
8 likes

Without oil and gas what else does Scotland have? It's vital to the economy. Yes, we need an alternative but what? Second of all, cement! Really? It's actually one of the worst pollutants the planet endures. Way head in terms of plastics. If I was feeling mean I'd leave the person cemented and have a think about what they have done. No water, food, a place to pee and all overnight .... then arrested. 

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Left_is_for_Losers replied to boardmanrider | 11 months ago
0 likes

boardmanrider wrote:

Without oil and gas what else does Scotland have? It's vital to the economy. Yes, we need an alternative but what? Second of all, cement! Really? It's actually one of the worst pollutants the planet endures. Way head in terms of plastics. If I was feeling mean I'd leave the person cemented and have a think about what they have done. No water, food, a place to pee and all overnight .... then arrested. 

Yes quite, so the argument for an independent Scotland couldn't be any weaker, and surely the Scots should be happy that the conservatives have passed the new O&G licenses then too. 

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chrisonabike replied to boardmanrider | 11 months ago
2 likes
boardmanrider wrote:

Without oil and gas what else does Scotland have? It's vital to the economy.

Indeed. The thing with that though is our bigger neighbour doesn't *even* have oil and gas but they seem to be doing so well they're keen to prop up Scotland, apparently at great cost to themselves. Hmm...

I'm not an economist but what Scotland does have is *water*, which may prove to be more of an asset than a (tourist) liability in the near future. Especially if we burn all that oil and gas!

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Dnnnnnn replied to chrisonabike | 11 months ago
3 likes

chrisonatrike wrote:
boardmanrider wrote:

what Scotland does have is *water*

Being essential for life, water is an asset anywhere. Fortunately Scotland's sole neighbour has enough water to meet its own needs for the foreseeable future.

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chrisonabike replied to Dnnnnnn | 11 months ago
2 likes

Dnnnnnn wrote:

... Scotland's sole neighbour ...

Shurely "southern neighbour" (according to these folks)?

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hawkinspeter replied to Dnnnnnn | 11 months ago
1 like

Dnnnnnn wrote:

Being essential for life, water is an asset anywhere. Fortunately Scotland's sole neighbour has enough water to meet its own needs for the foreseeable future.

However, now that our water is run purely for profit, it seems that we just dump sewage into rivers and the sea. Probably not as good for life as it once was, but seems that we value profit over life.

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Dnnnnnn replied to hawkinspeter | 11 months ago
1 like

hawkinspeter wrote:

However, now that our water is run purely for profit, it seems that we just dump sewage into rivers and the sea. Probably not as good for life as it once was, but seems that we value profit over life.

Getting rather off-topic here but that's an issue of waste water management, rather than clean water supply. The former is clearly inadequate, whereas the latter is more than adequate in both volume and quality.
Nationalised Scottish Water has a much more effective approach to managing sewage overflow - they just don't monitor it.
www.heraldscotland.com/news/23532003.scotland-shockingly-behind-england-...

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hawkinspeter replied to Dnnnnnn | 11 months ago
0 likes

Dnnnnnn wrote:

Getting rather off-topic here but that's an issue of waste water management, rather than clean water supply. The former is clearly inadequate, whereas the latter is more than adequate in both volume and quality.

Nationalised Scottish Water has a much more effective approach to managing sewage overflow - they just don't monitor it.
www.heraldscotland.com/news/23532003.scotland-shockingly-behind-england-...

Yeah, I don't have any problems with our water supply, but it's the same company that deals with our sewage. Having a monopoly service owned by a purely for-profit company is obviously an atrocious idea as can be seen with the water companies being saddled with huge debts so that people can grab some "free money" at our expense.

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brooksby replied to hawkinspeter | 11 months ago
2 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

Dnnnnnn wrote:

Being essential for life, water is an asset anywhere. Fortunately Scotland's sole neighbour has enough water to meet its own needs for the foreseeable future.

However, now that our water is run purely for profit, it seems that we just dump sewage into rivers and the sea. Probably not as good for life as it once was, but seems that we value profit over life.

Anyone see this one over the weekend?

Dozens fall ill after Sunderland triathlon, health chiefs confirm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-66421422

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hawkinspeter replied to brooksby | 11 months ago
1 like

brooksby wrote:

Anyone see this one over the weekend?

Dozens fall ill after Sunderland triathlon, health chiefs confirm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-66421422

Yeah, I don't think we're doing well in our stewardship of the environment when people can't even swim in the sea without swallowing a bit of sewage.

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Paul J replied to Dnnnnnn | 11 months ago
0 likes
Dnnnnnn wrote:

chrisonatrike wrote:
boardmanrider wrote:

what Scotland does have is *water*

Being essential for life, water is an asset anywhere. Fortunately Scotland's sole neighbour has enough water to meet its own needs for the foreseeable future.

Doesn't Scotland's sole neighbour import water from Scotland, to meet its needs?

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Dnnnnnn replied to Paul J | 11 months ago
0 likes

Paul J wrote:
Dnnnnnn wrote:

chrisonatrike wrote:
boardmanrider wrote:

what Scotland does have is *water*

Being essential for life, water is an asset anywhere. Fortunately Scotland's sole neighbour has enough water to meet its own needs for the foreseeable future.

Doesn't Scotland's sole neighbour import water from Scotland, to meet its needs?

No. Why would it?
www.gov.scot/publications/foi-202200317330

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Dnnnnnn replied to boardmanrider | 11 months ago
1 like

boardmanrider wrote:

Without oil and gas what else does Scotland have?

Lots. O&G is certainly important but a relatively small part of the overall economy, and much smaller than in the past (figures jump about due to price fluctuations but the 21st century trend has been significantly downwards).

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boardmanrider replied to Dnnnnnn | 11 months ago
1 like

I'm curious, what else is there? 

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Dnnnnnn replied to boardmanrider | 11 months ago
1 like

boardmanrider wrote:

I'm curious, what else is there?

www.lmgtfy.com ?
O&G (and whisky) apart, it's not very different to England.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Scotland

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Left_is_for_Losers replied to boardmanrider | 11 months ago
0 likes

boardmanrider wrote:

I'm curious, what else is there? 

Haggis?

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Veloism replied to boardmanrider | 11 months ago
1 like

boardmanrider wrote:

Without oil and gas what else does Scotland have?

Hydro and wind, in abundance. 

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mark1a | 11 months ago
4 likes

Well this escalated quickly...

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ktache | 11 months ago
7 likes

Good to have Ned on the BBC.

He has done his building up to an ad break thing a few times.

Race was inconvenienced by a legitimate and appropriate protest.

Will we look upon these protestors as hero's in a few decades, especially if they do a few months in prison?

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Rik Mayals unde... replied to ktache | 11 months ago
3 likes

Heros? They are  hypocrites, they live in centrally heated houses, many own cars, some even have been photographed arriving at demonstrations in diesel SUVs and they will all have mobile phones, which, apart from the precious finite resources, have components made from the oil industry. 

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Roulereo replied to Rik Mayals underpants | 11 months ago
0 likes

But how else will we get to Zero...?

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Left_is_for_Losers replied to ktache | 11 months ago
1 like

ktache wrote:

Good to have Ned on the BBC.

He has done his building up to an ad break thing a few times.

Race was inconvenienced by a legitimate and appropriate protest.

Will we look upon these protestors as hero's in a few decades, especially if they do a few months in prison?

Legitimate and appropriate? Imagine if everyone decided to protest,

The riders were stopped for nearly an hour, this impacts  literally everyone along the route - the spectators that have travelled and waited to see the riders, the transport they may have booked home, the broadcasters, the teams and riders particularly - how on earth is it vaguely reasonable to protest in such a way?! Not to mention using cement, which has already been covered below. 

As for calling them heroes...

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Boopop | 11 months ago
16 likes

Power to the protestors ✊

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Roulereo replied to Boopop | 11 months ago
1 like

Powerdrill to the protestors, best way to remove their weak little hand from the concrete.

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RyanBuildsWheels | 11 months ago
17 likes

Fully supportive of such action; solidarity to the protests.  Those riders and cyclists who understand why such actions are neccesary and how utterly twisted it is that companies are allowed to greenwash their way into sport whilst creating an unihabitable world for the rest of get it; welcome to the right side of history.

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levestane replied to RyanBuildsWheels | 11 months ago
3 likes

Just read the commuting article which is all about reducing ecological impact. The racing of bikes seems not to follow the same principle. I suspect history will be on the protestors side.

Thanks for the custom length lasers over the years Ryan.

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Simon E replied to levestane | 11 months ago
7 likes

levestane wrote:

Just read the commuting article which is all about reducing ecological impact. The racing of bikes seems not to follow the same principle.

The idea that pro cycling is an environmentally friendly sport is pure fantasy.

And it's a lie that it promotes active travel.

Certainly most of the riders we watched today will have flown to Scotland, will be put up in hotels and transported here and there before and after the race. When riding the course and other training they will have been accompanied by a team car.

As mentioned above: "UCI President David Lappartient also told the riders that, while the bunch could be swiftly rerouted to allow the race to restart, the lengthy delay owed to the fact that it would prove much more difficult to reroute the event’s vast cavalcade of motor vehicles". Also those roadside barriers, the km to go banners, the finish line trucks and the huge compound of TV equipment don't get delivered by cargo bike (I vaguely recall a statistic of 4 miles of cables at a typical TdF stage finish?).

The average WorldTour rider has a pretty hefty carbon footprint but the team's collective impact goes far beyond that. Some of the bigger teams have more than 50 staff, many of whom will travel to training camps and races. The team buses consume many litres of fuel, even when at a standstill. DSes seem to drive the team cars like lunatics during every race, 250+ km in low gears with lots of sharp acceleration and braking must make for horrendous mpg figures and very short tyre life.

There are a large number of police escort riders, press and TV motorbikes that move up and down the race, multiple TV helicopters and a high altitude plane that sends the mobile TV images to the broadcast feed. There are usually additional helicopters used to fly guests to and from locations along the route.

I noticed a comment during today's race about how the team cars would be unable to get to riders with a mechanical issue due to the narrow, twisty nature of the circuit and a very strung out peloton. Surely this would be an ideal opportunity to dispense with them completely; scrap the whole 'get a bike off the roof' caper; put team helpers with wheels around the circuit and replace the team cars with a much smaller number of neutral support motorbikes. If your bike breaks then tough luck. Perhaps it would be an incentive to make components more reliable and for every bike to have a chain catcher.

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