Men’s elite road race halted by protest at World Championships

Scottish environmental group This Is Rigged claim responsibility for the disruption

Glasgow World Championships 2023
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The elite men's road race at the Glasgow World Championships was halted for over 45 minutes on Sunday due to a group of protesters blocking the road.

Prior to the race being forced to a standstill, a nine-man breakaway - including Britain’s Owain Doull - had a lead of nearly eight minutes over the peloton before the race was stopped due to the incident.

The breakaway had reached a small climb near the Carron valley reservoir when the race encountered the blockage. Initial reports suggested that a group of protesters had allegedly glued themselves to the road.

Police Scotland shared a short statement on social media which said they were en route to address the issue. Vehicles were later seen edging their way through the peloton in order to reach the front of the race and the protest.

Whilst they waited for the situation to be resolved, riders were seen taking the opportunity to sit on the side of the road and rest on the verge. Some were even pictured returning to their various team cars to shelter and keep warm.

UCI President David Lappartient left the race commissaire's car and was seen walking up and down through the main field speaking to concerned riders and team staff.

A brief statement from the UCI, shared on social media, said they were working to get the situation resolved as quickly as possible.

“Further to Police Scotland’s confirmation of a protest in the Carron Valley area, which has temporarily interrupted the men’s road race, 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.”

A Scottish environmentalist group called This Is Rigged later took to social media to claim responsibility for the disruption. The group’s mission is to prevent the Scottish government from agreeing to new fossil fuel projects in the country.

The group shared a statement from one of its members - Cat aged 21 - which read: “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.

“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. @scotgov must stand up to Westminster and oppose all new oil and gas, and implement a fair transition now.”

The race eventually resumed after the long delay and continued towards Glasgow.  

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Tom Thewlis

Tom has been writing for Cycling Weekly since 2022 and his news stories, rider interviews and features appear both online and in the magazine. 

Since joining the team, he has reported from some of professional cycling's biggest races and events including the Tour de France and the World Championships in Glasgow. He has also covered races elsewhere across the world. 

As well as on the ground reporting, Tom writes race reports from the men's and women's WorldTour and helps with coverage of UK domestic cycling.