Rostrevor enduro race disrupted by trail saboteurs
Close to a disaster
Disaster was narrowly averted this weekend as trail sabateurs attempted to disrupt the Vitus First Tracks enduro at Rostrevor.
Photos: Vitus First Track Enduro Facebook
On Saturday morning, marshals reported that fallen trees and wire strung at neck height on technical sections had been placed on one of the stages. The wire especially was hard to spot and could have been potentially fatal in a race situation. It is believed that walkers may be responsible for the debris as they were unhappy with the tracks being used for racing.
Glyn O'Brien, the event organiser slammed those responsible. He told the Belfast Telegraph: "There were five or six places where they had put the wire/string at head height and they had used our tape to re-direct riders into areas where the wire was. It is very thin and you wouldn't see it until the last minute.
"By the look of it I don't think it was kids who did this but this time I have a feeling it was maybe walkers who don't like bikers, who maybe feel mountain biking shouldn't be on those trails."
The PSNI have been informed and are currently investigating. A spokesperson said: "This was an unbelievably dangerous thing to do. Whoever is responsible could have caused great injury to those participating had the route not been checked."
The race went ahead without incident and 200 riders took part with Nathan McComb taking the win. Marshals at future Vitus First Tracks events will be briefed to keep an eye out for any debris on a trail. There have been a number of stories of riders running into unexpected and dangerous trail obstacles, such as this one we ran back in November, where a length of barbed wire cut a mountain biker's eye.
The incident rounds off a tough month for Rostrevor that saw its hire bike shop have every single one of its bikes stolen.