Protestors bring world cycling event to halt as police make five arrests

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The men
The men's road race at the UCI Cycling World Championships was disrupted for almost an hour (Image: Eurosport GCN)

Five people have been arrested after protesters disrupted the UCI Cycling World Championships in Scotland by gluing themselves to the road.

The men's road race was halted for around an hour while the protesters were removed, with Police Scotland later stating their "protest removal team" had arrested five people. Scottish environmental group This Is Rigged, who want the Scottish government to oppose all new fossil fuel projects, claimed responsibility for the protest.

"'This is Rigged' disrupted the Men's Elite Road Race at the UCI Cycling World Championships by locking themselves to one another and glueing themselves to the road," they said.

"The roadblock resulted in the race being stopped as cyclists were unable to pass. Two of the people held up banners reading 'TIR' (This is Rigged), and they were wearing t-shirts with the group's name printed on them."

"The fact that INEOS has been allowed to sponsor a team in the race around the Campsie Fells- which were engulfed in wildfires last month- is a disgrace and an insult to the both cycling community and the people of Scotland," added activist Cat via This is Rigged's Twitter account.

Cyclist left hanging from bridge after horror crash as stage is cancelled rriddqikeiqtkinvCyclist left hanging from bridge after horror crash as stage is cancelled

"We cannot continue with business as usual while our country burns and our futures are ruined. Time is of the essence and we need to act like it. The Scottish government must stand up to Westminster and oppose all new oil and gas, and implement a fair transition now."

The INEOS Grenadiers cycling team which is sponsored by the petrochemical company is not competing at the World Championships as cyclists are representing their national federations, although several of their riders have been in action.

The protest comes after UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that hundreds of new oil and gas licences will be granted. Graham Simpson, the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party's spokesperson on energy and net zero, said: "This was a dangerous act of disruption which put both the protesters and athletes in this race at risk.

"It's utterly nonsensical for a group which claims to stand for environmental protection to target an event promoting active, green travel like cycling - and raises a huge question mark about this publicity-seeking group's true motives."

However, a This Is Rigged spokesperson told Cycling News said the protest was "not about the cycling" and they were "forced to act to see that peoples' basic necessities have been met by the Scottish government".

Matthew Cooper

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