ORGANISERS of a charity bike ride have slammed mindless saboteurs who tried to ruin the race by throwing drawing pins onto the route.
A number of cyclists suffered punctures because of the incident, which happened on the Wigan stretch of the Manchester to Blackpool bike ride on Sunday.
We are extremely disappointed that someone would put the safety of the cyclists and other road users at risk in this wayChristie spokesperson
Thousands took part in the event, including many fund-raisers for local charities such as Wigan and Leigh Hospice.
But some fell foul to the cruel pranksters who were today heavily criticised by organisers of the event.
Thankfully, those whose bikes were hit by punctures were helped by volunteers and sent on their way again.
The ride was organised by Bike Events and the Christie charity with many more causes also entering participants.
A spokesperson for The Christie charity said: “We are extremely disappointed that someone would put the safety of the cyclists and other road users at risk in this way.
“The race organisers responded quickly to ensure the affected road area was swept and cleared of any drawing pins and a mechanic was on scene to ensure cyclists who experienced a puncture, were back on the road and able to
complete the event.
“We’d like to say a special thank you to all our cyclists who took part and especially to those who were affected by this incident, for carrying on in great spirits to complete the ride. A great day was had by all.”
One cyclist fumed: “Luckily I just avoided it but as I approached it I knew something was wrong as so many people had stopped.
“I could see all the pins on the floor. Why on earth would somebody do something like that?
“I asked if I could help and tried to sort a few people out before getting on my way.
“There were a lot of young people on the route too. What if one of them had fallen off?
“I’m ashamed to be from Wigan with this happening in my hometown.”
Mark Roberts, who was near the incident, said he didn’t see the people responsible but saw the effects of what happened.
“I have no idea who did it, they must have been quick,” he said. “But I just saw all these bikes stopping and loads of people having to get off because they had punctures.
“I helped as best as I could before someone came along who seemed to know what they were doing.
“It’s really sad that someone would want to do something like this.”
The Manchester to Blackpool Bike Ride is The Christie’s largest cycling event attended by over 7,000 cyclists.
The ride covers a 60-mile route starting at Manchester United’s Football Ground at Old Trafford going along country lanes to the finish on the South Promenade in Blackpool, where riders can enjoy a barbecue, live music and a well-earned massage.
Bar the incident in Wigan, this year’s event was deemed a huge success with the weather being relatively kind on those taking part.
It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of pounds was raised for various charities who had cyclists taking part.