TOUR de France leader Bradley Wiggins believes the sabotage of yesterday’s stage 14 - when tacks on the road caused a litany of punctures in the peloton - showed how vulnerable riders are on the road, where more severe incidents could yet occur.
Jean-Francois Pescheux, competitions director of Tour organisers Amaury Sports Organisation, confirmed around 30 riders suffered punctures on the climb of Mur de Peguere on the 191-kilometre route from Limoux to Foix.
Defending champion Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) was among those to suffer flat tyres and the stage was neutralised, initially by Wiggins’ Team Sky squad, as the peloton rolled in more than 18 minutes behind stage winner Luis-Leon Sanchez.
Wiggins, who changed bikes as a result of a mechanical problem, said: “What can you do? It’s something we can’t control. There’s nothing stopping more of that sort of stuff happening. 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.”
Saturday’s stage was won by German Andre Greipel.
Today’s stage 15 takes the riders 158.5km from Samatan to Pau before a rest day tomorrow.