UCI Cycling World Championships Men’s Elite Road Race in Glasgow delayed today as five oil protestors arrested

The protestors blocked a narrow stretch of road along the race route west of Falkirk
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Five people have been arrested and a UCI Cycling World Championships race 2023 through Glasgow was delayed today, Sunday August 6, as oil and gas protestors staged a demonstration along the race route.

The environmental protest group, This is Rigged, claimed responsibility for the direct action along the Men’s Elite Road Race route at the UCI Cycling World Championships 2023.

The race was meant to finish with a ten lap city centre circuit in Glasgow before finishing in George Square - although cyclists were stalled along the way and the race was declared ‘neutralised’ by UCI before restarting 50 minutes later.

The event had to be paused as racers were over halfway through the long-awaited championship race - 190km (118 miles) of the 271km (168 miles) - cyclists had raced from Edinburgh aiming to arrive in Glasgow, but were stopped along the way by protestors west of Falkirk, just before they were to take to the Crow Road in East Dunbartonshire.

Cyclists were unable to avoid the protestors as they glued themselves to the race route on a narrow stretch of road - the B818 near Carron Vallery Reservoir. This is Rigged claim four protestors participated in the direct action, although Police Scotland claim to have arrested five protestors on Twitter.

A statement by This is Rigged released on X (formerly known as Twitter) can be read below.

Following the initial statement from This is Rigged they followed up with a comment from member and activist, Cat, it 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.”

Police Scotland have confirmed that five people were arrested once protestors were removed from the race route. It’s not the first time This is Rigged have staged action in Scotland, recently demonstrating at both Scottish Parliament and Grangemouth oil & gasworks.

While This Is Rigged aren’t aiming to attack cyclists, activists linked to This is Rigged have taken issue with UCI allowing multinational chemical company Ineos, who also run Grangemouth oil refinery, to be allowed as sponsers for the World Cycling Championship event.

A spokesperson for UCI released the following statement today: “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.”

Roads around the Glasgow City Centre, East End and West End remain closed - they will not reopen until next Wednesday. For the full list of major road closures and restrictions in Glasgow - check out our article.