Showing posts from June, 2009


This year’s Étape Caledonia did not go as planned. What should have been an idyllic day’s cycling for more than 3,000 riders, through a breathtaking Perthshire landscape, almost ended prematurely for everyone. In a bizarre throwback to the very earliest days of professional cycling and the Tour de France - when partisan fans, during 1904’s second edition of the famous race, bombarded the peleton with rocks and bottles; and sabotaged the stage route with nails, after their favoured rider had passed - some person or persons scattered thousands of carpet tacks along an estimated 20-mile stretch of the route, causing the temporary suspension of the UK’s only closed-road, mass-participation cycling event.

The organisers feared for participants’ safety especially with the prospect of riders suffering punctures during high speed descents. The event was stopped while efforts were made to clear away the tacks and this was done for all but the last nine miles. Inevitably many riders did get flat…