OLIVA – The Guardia Civil apprehended a 28-year-old man on Friday, suspecting him of intentionally trying to instigate a crash among cyclists in yet another sabotage attempt during La Vuelta, Spain’s annual cycling tour.
The incident unfolded around 6.00 pm at kilometre 216 of the N-332 highway. This was during the stage from Utiel to Oliva in the province of Valencia. The accused chose a particularly critical location for his disruptive action. This was at the point where cyclists were making their final sprint, mere metres away from the finish line.
Multiple warnings ignored
Despite receiving multiple warnings from the Guardia Civil, the man persisted in his attempts to trip the cyclists.
Quick intervention prevents accident
Thanks to the timely action of an officer from the Agrupación de Tráfico, backed by members of the Unidad Territorial and the Grupo de Reserva y Seguridad, a major accident was averted. The suspect has been charged with serious disobedience and is expected to appear in court shortly.
Previous sabotage attempts
This is not the first act of sabotage targeting La Vuelta this year. Earlier incidents involved nails and pins being scattered on the road, leading to multiple flat tires. Another attempt saw saboteurs trying to spill 400 litres of an oily substance onto the roadway from a viaduct, which was fortunately discovered in time. Four individuals were arrested in that incident. Thankfully, due to vigilant authorities, no riders have been injured.
It is believed that these acts of sabotage are the work of Catalan nationalists, who are protesting what they consider a Spanish ‘colonialist’ event in their territory.