Tacks sabotage Tour de France
Mon, 16 Jul 2012 6:48p.m.
By Shaun Summerfield
The 14th stage of the Tour de France has been marred by sabotage after carpet tacks were thrown on the road.
Defending champ Cadel Evans was one of 30 riders to puncture, but tour leader Bradley Wiggins refused to capitalise on the Aussie's misfortune.
As the riders reached the summit of Mur de Péguère, the final climb of the 191km stage, several, including Evans, ran over carpet tacks sprinkled across the road.
“Someone had thrown tacks on the floor,” says Wiggins. “It just shows you that it is not just what happens on the bike, but what the public does. It shows that your race could be over for you for something as stupid as that.”
Evans, like his mechanic, was struggling to keep up as three stops left him more than three minutes behind the peleton.
But aware of the situation, Wiggins made the main bunch wait.
“It was the honourable thing really,” says Wiggins. “No one wants to benefit from someone’s misfortunes. We sort out this thing physically on the bike, not by someone’s misfortune.”
The tour has a history of bizarre collisions, from spectators to dogs.
Kiwi Julian Dean copped a head butt. Lance Armstrong hooked a handbag.
Nails are nothing new. They were first thrown under riders’ rubber 106 years ago.
Tour officials have asked French police to investigate this latest attempt to sabotage the race.
“It is unfortunate, but there is enough police to find the people and send them to a football match or something,” says Wiggins.
Spain’s Luis Leon Sanchez won the stage by more than 18 minutes, while Wiggins holds his overall lead of two minutes and five seconds, ahead of teammate Christopher Froome.
Evans is fourth, at three minutes, 19 seconds behind.
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