Cyclists warned 'appalling' behaviour towards gardai could affect future of sport
A leading sports body has described the behaviour of some cyclists during road races so far this year as "appalling".
Cycling Ireland have received reports from gardai of a number of incidents involving cyclists that have caused concern during early season road races.
They said the reported incidents could affect the future of road racing for cyclists in Ireland.
Gardai reported incidents that included racing cyclists verbally abusing members of An Garda Siochana as they attempted to deliver instructions during a race from the side of the road.
Other incidents involved cyclists refusing to adhere to Garda instructions about cycling safety during races on public roads.
Cycling Ireland described the behaviour as "appalling" and said it was "causing irreparable damage" to the sport.
In a statement posted on their official website, they wrote: "Such behavior is appalling and causing irreparable damage for the Irish Cycling community at a time when the majority of the public want events banned off Irish roads."
The national governing body for the sport advised racing cyclists that when they "pin on their race numbers and sign on for an event, that they are still subject to national law".
"The assistance of all static marshals and motorcycle marshals who attempt to provide as safe an environment as possible on a public road while still subject to National Law in order for you, the racing cyclist to participate in a slightly less restrictive manner compared to being out training (no longer two abreast but keep to the left side of the road).," they wrote.
"Future incidents like the above will eventually see Road Racing being severely restricted where participants will struggle to get into an event on a weekly basis."
They added: "A 'thank you' instead of verbal abuse to the authorities can go a long way towards maintaining a working relationship for the future. The responsibility is yours to protect the image of your sport, use it."