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Etape Cymru Tack Attack Fails to Deflate Riders' Enjoyment

by Nick Gregory

Saboteurs who targeted the Wiggle Etape Cymru closed-road cyclosportive on Sunday [8th September 2013] caused six riders to puncture and put one safety motorbike out of action.

1,700 participants took on the 88-mile route in Wrexham, North Wales at the third annual edition of the event. 

The closed-road nature of the event means that some local residents are unable to use local roads and it has been suggested that this may be the motive behind the tack attack.

Wiggle Etape Cymru
2013 Event

It is not the first time saboteurs have targeted closed-road cyclosportives, with the Etape Caledonia being hit multiple times.

Tweeting from the event, Sgt Jones said: "We've had reports of tacs being placed on the road on the Etape Cymru route. Several cyclists suffering punctures. Very disappointing.

"Police are trying to clear as many as possible. We've had to lose one of the safety motorcycle marshals."

Nick Rusling, CEO of event organisers Human Race, said: "It's very disappointing. It's also dangerous - it could have caused riders serious injury. It's not a sensible way of showing dissatisfaction towards the event." 

He added: "There is plenty of positives though. The feedback from the cyclists has been amazing; a lot are saying they'll come back. And there has been roughly £500,000 worth of spend in the local area."

According to BBC Wales, Clwyd South MP Susan Elan Jones called for those responsible for throwing the nails and tacks to be prosecuted.

She said: "Most people in our area will want to see the thugs behind these appalling acts dealt with properly. We need to have zero tolerance for this sort of yobbish behaviour."

Despite the tack incident, the Wiggle Etape Cymru has received widespread positive feedback for its organisation and route.

Entries for the 2014 Wiggle Etape Cymru event will open soon at

1 Comment

10th September 2013 11:02am Herbie wrote:

It is a splendid event, and I spent 2 nights in the area, with associated meals out, and thoroughly enjoyed the weekend! The tack-attack may even have been just a prank by kids, or the more sinister attempt at sabotage, but media and the police need to make sure the message gets out that this is actually a criminal attack on people - it doesn't sound like anyone was hurt, but the fact that the tacks could be picked and the puncture then happen anywhere on the course means it could actually result in someone's death! I was with a Motorcycle Marshall who was helping me with a puncture at the time he got the panic call to go to the scene - in the event it was better that someone better placed went, so he sorted me out anyway. The perpetrators need to realise that this act only endangers lives, it doesn't do anything to curb the enthusiasm for the event, won't mean a rethink or u-turn - all they've done is shine a spotlight on their own imbecility and their willingness to perform a criminal act.