WJZ.com: Md. Bicyclists Injured By Tacks On Race Route

Andrea Fujii LEONARDTOWN, Md. (WJZ) –

More than 20 cyclists in Sunday’s Leonardtown bike race crashed because someone intentionally put tacks on the ground.

It was a tack attack in St. Mary’s County. The sheriff’s department is searching for someone who sabotaged a bike race.

Andrea Fujii reports this race was supposed to be safe until authorities say someone snuck in and threw tacks down on the track, which led to a major wreck.

Police say it was no accident. A number of cyclists were badly injured during a 31-mile race riddled with more than a dozen crashes. One of those crashes was caught on tape and investigators say criminals are to blame.

Video shot from a helmet camera of a racing cyclist shows the gruesome result of vandals.

More than 20 cyclists in Sunday’s Leonardtown bike race crashed because someone intentionally put tacks on the ground.

“It was a shock to us. We worked really hard to put on the event here,” said Hans Welch, Patuxent Velo Bike Club.

Organizers cleared the closed course with leaf blowers the day before the race and with brooms during. But tires started going flat and crashes increased, damaging expensive bikes. One cyclist broke a collarbone after riding over the tacks.

“It certainly has nothing to do with the town of Leonardtown. It was just the bad apple that did something,” Welch said. “If they thought it was a prank or funny, it wasn’t. It was a criminal act. We want to find the person that did it and let them deal with the Sheriff’s Department.”

“They’re small tacks and other than that, we really don’t want to put out a description of the tack people. The people who put the tacks down know what they look like,” said Cindy Allen, St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Department. “That’s a crucial piece of evidence.”

Investigators are still trying to pinpoint where the tacks were thrown on the course, because when a tire goes over a tack, it causes a slow leak of air. Even days later, cyclists are finding tacks in their tires.

The culprit could be charged with property damage because a punctured tire can cause hundreds of dollars in this sport. Also, the broken bones and bruises qualify as assault.

Investigators say there is no chance that the tacks came from any construction nearby or could have been on the course beforehand. They are interviewing neighbors and spectators and want to hear from impacted cyclists.

Anyone with information should contact the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Department.

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