Tour de France leader Bradley Wiggins believes the sabotage of stage 14 - when tacks on the road caused a number of punctures in the peloton - showed how vulnerable riders are on the road, where more severe incidents could yet occur.

Jean-Francois Pescheux, competitions director of Tour organisers Amaury Sports Organisation, confirmed around 30 riders suffered punctures on the climb of Mur de Peguere on the 191-kilometre route from Limoux to Foix.

With Wiggins and defending champion Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) among those to suffer flat tires, the stage was neutralised, initially by the Briton's Team Sky squad, as the peloton rolled in more than 18 minutes behind stage winner Luis-Leon Sanchez.

Wiggins said: "What can you do? It's something we can't control. There's nothing stopping more of that sort of stuff happening.

"It's sad. Those are the type of things we have to put up with as cyclists. I think people take that for granted sometimes, just how close they can get to us."

Wiggins added: "If that happened in a football stadium, or wherever, you'd be arrested, CCTV.

"But we're out there, quite vulnerable at times, very close to the public on climbs.

"We're just the riders at the end of the day and we're there to be shot at, literally.

"It's quite sad and hopefully that's not going to continue. There's nothing you can do about it. We just have to get on with it."