Leading article: Sportsmanship triumphs over sabotage


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The Independent Online

As if 21 days of back-breaking, heart-pounding, thigh-burning mountainous cycle-riding were not challenging enough, the riders in the Tour de France may now have sabotage to contend with as well.

Race organisers are asking police to investigate, after reports that tacks on the road were behind the spectacle of 30 cyclists suffering punctures in a single-kilometre stretch of yesterday's 14th stage.

The incident is a depressing reminder – on the eve of the Olympics, no less – that it takes but a tiny minority to wreck the hard work, and enjoyment, of so many others. The Mur de Péguére climb was also, however, an opportunity for rather better human qualities to shine through. And it was Team Sky, and Britain's yellow jersey-wearing Bradley Wiggins, who led calls for the pack not to take advantage of their competitors' misfortune. Sabotage or not, the sporting spirit won the day.