Marlow Riders Red Kite Ride Sportive Sabotage

Marlow Riders Red Kite Ride Sportive Sabotage

 

Marlow Riders Red Kite Ride Sportive Sabotage

 

Paul Horta-Hopkins

 

Riders taking part in the Marlow Riders Red Kite Ride Sportive targeted by saboteurs.

 

Riders on the Marlow Riders Red Kite Ride Sportive had more than the terrain to deal with when they rolled out of the start gate. Despite raising money for the charity Cyclists Fighting Cancer, who help youngsters with cancer to regain their strength, fitness and confidence by supplying adapted bikes and trikes, early riders found drawing pins had been scattered across the route between Oakley and Brill.

 

Cyclists on the Marlow Riders Red Kite Ride Sportive had to deal with drawing pins on the road
Cyclists on the Marlow Riders Red Kite Ride Sportive had to deal with drawing pins on the road

 

The Marlow Riders organisers acted swiftly to clear the danger, but dozens of riders were forced off the road by punctures. “At one point the road to Brill was littered with cyclists with flat tyres,” said an Event spokesman. This is not the first time that saboteurs have targeted sportives and are usually the work of disgruntled locals. A spokesman for British Cycling, however, did not think this to be evidence of a growing pattern of attacks hitting the sport, but more a series of random attacks. “It’s mindless and it’s an issue that we are aware of, but I think these are more random attacks,” he said.

 

Event director Steve Tolmie said, “Its incredibly disappointing that a narrow minded individual has attempted to spoil the day for a large group of people. And it could have been considerably worse. A cyclist could have received a serious injury as a result of this attempt. We reported this to Thames Valley Police immediately and they take incidents like this very seriously.” Tolmie added: “Safety to our riders and other road users is our number one concern and we would be very keen for anyone who saw anything suspicious on the main B4011 near Oakley to contact police with any information.”

 

A full field of 700 riders tackled the Marlow Riders Sportive, raising over £7000 for charity
A full field of 700 riders tackled the Marlow Riders Sportive, raising over £7000 for charity

 

Despite the efforts of the saboteur, a full field of seven-hundred riders tackled the Marlow Riders Red Kite Ride Sportive’s four different routes. They included sixteen year-old Olly Hucks, who completed the full 126 mile route, while his family ‘only’ rode the 80 mile course. Other entrants came from as far as Dubai and the Netherlands and presumably found the Marlow Riders route 6,300ft of climbing quite a challenge.

 

The organisers were also pleased that not only was their event a sell-out, but that so many riders chose to stay behind and sample the special atmosphere at the finish. “Not only did we sell out our entry, we also sold out of beer and burgers!” added Tolmie. “It was quite a day”.

 

Charity Cyclists Fighting Cancer, supply bikes and trikes to help youngsters regain their physical fitness, strength and confidence
Charity Cyclists Fighting Cancer, supply bikes and trikes to help youngsters regain their physical fitness, strength and confidence

 

In this, it’s fourth year of running, the Marlow Riders Red Kite Ride Sportive, which is run by volunteers from the Marlow Riders club, looks to have raised over £7000 for the Cyclists Fighting Cancer charity. A great result for a local club that is helping others, unlike the small minded individual that tried to disrupt the event.

 

Marlow Riders

 

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