For the second time in three years last Sunday’s Etape Caledonia has been plagued by saboteurs attempting to disrupt the 130km event. Police and organisers were originally alerted on Saturday (May 14) to a short section of the route on which a large number of drawing pins had been scattered; with authorities on higher alert a further section covered with what has been described as “thousands of nails and tacks” was identified in the early hours of Sunday morning, less than four hours before the race was due to begin. In 2009 a similar incident saw a large quantity of pins removed from a section of route more than five miles long, which delayed proceedings for 90minutes.
Organised in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support the etape (which features an impressive ascent of just under 2000m) is the largest closed-road event of its kind in the UK with upwards of 5000 riders pitching up to test their mettle against the rugged beauty of Highland Perthshire. This year’s winner was Evan Oliphant with a finishing time of 3:27:38. Organiser’s have promised great vigilance at the Etape’s sister event, The Sky Ride Etape Hibernia, which takes place in August.