Wiggins: Riders are vulnerable
Tour de France leader says further spectator incidents are possible
Last Updated: July 15, 2012 7:18pm
Bradley Wiggins: Helped neutralise the peloton after tacks were thrown on the road
Bradley Wiggins believes there is nothing to stop further incidents of spectator sabotage after stage 14 of the Tour de France was overshadowed by tacks being thrown on the road.
Approximately 30 riders suffered punctures over the top of the Mur de Peguere, with the most notable incident befalling defending champion Cadel Evans.
With the Australian losing a huge amount of time waiting for a new wheel at the summit of day's final climb, the race in the main group was neutralised on the descent to wait for him and the peloton rolled in 18 minutes down on stage winner Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank).
Wiggins was disappointed by the incident, but accepted it as a hazard which comes with competing on the open roads.
"What can you do? It's something we can't control. There's nothing stopping more of that sort of stuff happening," the Team Sky rider said.
"It's sad. Those are the type of things we have to put up with as cyclists. I think people take that for granted sometimes, just how close they can get to us.
"If that happened in a football stadium, or wherever, you'd be arrested, CCTV. But we're out there, quite vulnerable at times, very close to the public on climbs.
"We're just the riders at the end of the day and we're there to be shot at, literally. It's quite sad and hopefully that's not going to continue.
"Those are the type of things we have to put up with as cyclists. I think people take that for granted sometimes, just how close they can get to us."
Bradley Wiggins Quotes of the week
"There's nothing you can do about it. We just have to get on with it."
Race director Christian Prudhomme revealed motorbikes and cars had also suffered deflated tyres due to the tacks on the road.
Prudhomme said: "It could have had dramatic consequences on a descent like that. They are imbeciles to have done this."
Despite a truce being called in the peloton, Pierre Rolland (Europcar) attacked on the descent but the Frenchman, lying ninth overall, eventually gave in and was caught before the finish.
Wiggins added: "So many guys punctured at once, it became quite apparent very quickly that something was up. I don't know whether he (Rolland) knew or not. I knew straight away something had happened.
"I just thought it (Rolland's attack) was a little bit uncouth at that time. The stage was gone, we'd been up the climb, which was very tough, no one went away, the race was over.
"It didn't seem the honourable thing to do, to benefit from other people's misfortune at a part of the race which was over."