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Cycling-Men’s world championships race interrupted by climate protesters

by Uma
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Cycling-Men’s world championships race interrupted by climate protesters

By Martyn Herman

GLASGOW (Reuters) -Protesters halted the elite men’s road race at the UCI World Championships for almost an hour on Sunday, stopping the high-calibre peloton in its tracks after 80km.

A nine-rider breakaway group, which was seven minutes ahead of the main bunch, was approaching the Crow Road climb on a narrow road on the route from Edinburgh to Glasgow when protesters reportedly glued themselves to the surface.

Environmental group This Is Rigged said on messaging platform X, formerly known as Twitter, that they were responsible for the demonstration. Police Scotland said their Protest Removal Team had arrested five protesters.

Organisers the UCI confirmed that the race had been ‘neutralised’ while the incident was dealt with.

“We are working closely with all relevant authorities to minimise disruption to the race and also to ensure the safety of riders as our paramount concern,” cycling’s world governing body said in a statement.

British Cycling is sponsored by oil company Shell.

Television pictures showed UCI president David Lappartient chatting to riders while others took the chance to sit in team cars or take on food and drink.

One of the riders in the lead group was Britain’s Owain Doull.

“I don’t know what the protest was about, presumably it was climate-related, but it’s a cycling world championships and cycling is probably one of the best vehicles to help with that,” Welshman Doull said. “So from my side, no (I don’t agree with it). There’s also the safety element.”

The race was eventually allowed to continue towards Glasgow at 12.16pm local time, with the leading group starting first in order to preserve their time advantage.

“The race had also practised this as a scenario so it was pretty organised, pretty drilled,” Doull said.

“Realistically with everything going on there was a fair chance it was going to happen and in fairness to the race organisers there’s not much they can do.”

Several sporting events in Britain this year have been targeted by another climate group, Just Stop Oil, with protesters’ targets including the Wimbledon Tennis Championships and the Ashes cricket test at Lord’s.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Alex Richardson, editing by Ed Osmond and Clare Fallon)