The team vehicle was set alight overnight after riders completed gruelling 116-mile stage of La Vuelta
IRISH cycling team Aqua Blue Sport have been left without a team bus for the Vuelta a Espana after the vehicle was shockingly torched in a “cowardly” arson attack.
The outfit, who are not flush for cash like moneybags teams such as Team Sky and Movistar, have had to help out with vehicles and facilities for the riders to change in.
Luckily the team, who host former British champ Adam Blythe and former Sky riders Lars Petter Nordhaug and Andy Fenn, found another vehicle to get to the start of stage 12.
But there is no avoiding the shocking scenes as the coach sat black and burnt out after a mattress was placed underneath and set alight the previous night.
The incident occurred in the southern Spanish city of Almeria, the Irish-based outfit said on Thursday.
A statement said: “Our team bus has been completely damaged in a cowardly arson attack over night. No one was injured. Police have arrested a suspect.”
The team were competing in their first major tour.
They have vowed to continue racing and posted a picture of their riders on a different bus on their way to stage 12, which begins in Motril later on Thursday, with the message: “Nothing is going to stop us starting today’s La Vuelta stage. Thank you for all the support.”
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A statement from Spain’s national police force said they had arrested a 55-year-old man who had allegedly caused four fires in Almeria, in the province of Andalusia.
Aqua Blue Sport, founded this year by Cork-born millionaire Rick Delanry, are last in the team classification ahead of Thursday’s stage.
Briton Chris Froome leads the general classification by 1min 19sec over nearest challenger Vincenzo Nibali.
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