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Hidden barbed wire on trail slashes UK mountain biker’s neck

A mountain biker at the popular Bwlch Mountain trail near Ton Pentre in Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales, has been seriously injured when he rode into a hidden barbed wire strung up across a trail. This story comes with a warning for all mountain bikers in the area to be careful while out on the trails. Tony Roberts, 39, was left with gruesome slashes across his throat and needed 17 stitches.

A photo of Roberts’ injuries was posted by his friend Anthony Owens on social media over the weekend after the incident occurred. "People think it's funny to tie barb wire across the trail. This man could have lost his life through someone’s stupidity," he wrote.

Roberts’ partner Koral Clarke, said: “I'm so glad I'm not planning a funeral right now. He had to unwrap the wire from around his neck. [...] I want to spread awareness on how dangerous these acts can be."

A man's slashed throat with the graphic injury blurred

(Image credit: Wales News Service)

South Wales Police is investigating, and is in the process of searching the area for further risk. Sergeant Karl Emerson said:

“He was understandably traumatised by his experience and was very lucky not to have sustained an even worse injury. It is understood that the barbed wire was obscured by branches and anybody cycling there should be vigilant and take extra care. Local officers are searching the area to identify exactly where the incident occurred and to ensure there is no further risk to the public."

Mildred Locke
Freelance writer

Mildred previously worked as a review writer for Bike Perfect. She enjoys everything from road cycling to mountain biking, but is a utilitarian cyclist at heart. Determined to do everything on two wheels, she's even moved house by bike, and can regularly be found pedaling around Bristol and its surrounding areas. She’s spent over four years volunteering as a mechanic and workshop coordinator at the Bristol Bike Project, and now sits on its board of directors. Her expertise comes from previously working in a bike shop and learning the ins and outs of the industry, and she's previously written for a variety of cycling publications, including Bikeradar, Cycling Plus, Singletrack, Red Bull, Cycling UK and Total Women's Cycling. At home on slicks and knobblies alike, her ideal ride covers long distances through remote countryside, on mixed terrain that offers a bit of crunch, followed by a gourmet campfire meal and an overnight bivvy beneath the stars.


Rides: Stayer Groadinger UG, Triban RC520 Women's Disc, Genesis Flyer, Marin Larkspur, Cotic BFe 26, Clandestine custom bike

Height: 156cm (5'2")

Weight: 75kg