Page last updated at 10:22 GMT, Tuesday, 19 May 2009 11:22 UK

Arrest over cycle race sabotage

Halted cyclists
The race was brought to a standstill. Pic: Richard Thomas

A 62-year-old man has been charged in connection with the sabotage of a cycle race in Highland Perthshire.

Carpet tacks were placed across sections of the Etape Caledonia route causing hundreds of cyclists to suffer punctures on Sunday.

The 81-mile race around Pitlochry had to be halted for about an hour-and-a-half while the road at Innerhadden and Schiehallion was made safe.

The man, from the Rannoch area, is due in court on Wednesday.

Not deterred

Police said inquiries into the full set of circumstances were continuing and they appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

The Etape Caledonia is the only cycle race in the UK where all the roads travelled on are closed to other traffic.

The restrictions have caused anger among some locals who believe business is negatively affected and people are prevented from leaving their homes.

Many of the 3,500 cyclists taking part in the Etape Caledonia were raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support and local politicians and business leaders have criticised the sabotaging of the event.

Organisers IMG said the disruption would not deter them from holding the race next year and they are already accepting entries for the 2010 event.

However, they confirmed they would step up security measures to ensure that such sabotage did not happen again.



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