Video: Farmer in sportive protest says cyclists started the trouble

Posted on: September 10th, 2017


Video Tour o’ The Borders cycling sportive farmer protest




A farmer who says he was the ring leader of a controversial protest against a cycling sportive has insisted none of the people involved assaulted any of the cyclists.

Amid claims that some of the riders were attacked, John Marshall said it was he and his fellow protestors who were assaulted.

“The other thing is that they were racing,” he said of the Tour o’ The Borders sportive in Scotland.

“It’s supposed to be a ‘tour’ and it even says on the pamphlet ‘this is not a race’. If they were just touring they would’ve been able to stop and have dialogue.”

He believed the sportive was a waste of police time and every year prevented local people going about their business.

A police investigation has started into the farmer protest, during which sticks were used against Tour o’ The Borders sportive cyclists in southern Scotland.

They were protesting about the sportive interfering with their work at harvest time.


Video Tour o' The Borders cycling sportive farmer protest


Video and photos emerged of the farmers holding up sticks or rods in an effort to block the road.

Some of the cyclists said efforts were made to put the sticks or rods into their wheels. And there were also claims of assault and of at least one cyclist crashing as a result of the protest.

However, John Marshall has said the protest was peaceful and is adamant no cyclist was assaulted or injured in any way.

“Four of us organised it. I was the ringleader. We waited until the police bike and tour car had gone round,” he explained.

“We blocked off the road and had draining rods in our hands. But they were basically touching the ground so we weren’t appearing violent.”

“It was meant to be a peaceful demonstration so they would stop and we could have dialogue.”

He said that he and those he was with shouted at the cyclists that they were pedestrians but the riders pushed through the effort to block the road.

“Two of us got shoulder-barged and I got grabbed. So I shouted back at the guy who I could only describe as a bearded hooligan.”

He added motorists were “held up” on a daily basis by cyclists. And the blocking of roads in his area for the sportive was unacceptable.

“They get the police to monitor the event and it’s basically a waste of police time,” he said, adding junctions that should take two lorries side by side were closed.