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Controversial Etape Caledonia sells out this year

2009's carpet tacks sabotage fails to deter riders...

Defiant cyclists unbowed by last year's 'carpet tacks' debacle have sold out this year's Macmillan Cancer Support Etape Caledonia road race in Scotland.

More than 4,500 riders have signed up for the event in Perthshire on May 16, a record entry and 50 per cent up on last year's event.

The 2009 Etape was marred by the spreading of thousands of carpet tacks along the 81-mile route, causing a huge number of punctures and long delays. The attempted sabotage was blamed on a small number of locals disgruntled at road closures for the eight-hour duration of the race.

Although local solicitor Alexander Grosset was arrested in connection with the incident, charges against him were dropped in January and no-one else has been charged subsequently.

According to the BBC, increased security along the route is expected this year.

Those taking part are expected to raise about £430,000 for the main charity, Macmillan Cancer Support.

Jo Dytch, event organiser, said: "These results are extremely exciting. The demand for places this year has been strong with more than double the number of cyclists fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support than last year.

"It's going to be a very busy weekend in Highland Perthshire. With almost 5,000 cyclists coming into the area, many accompanied by friends and families, this is a welcome boost to the local economy."

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