Although hooliganism in cycling is much rarer than in football, it still takes place from time to time, especially in the grand tours where there are hundreds of thousands of spectators lining the roads each day. With 40 km to go in yesterday's third stage of the Giro between Diamante and Giffoni Valle Piana, there was an incident involving two "spectators" who ran into the middle of the peloton and harassed the riders. Quick.Step's Davide Bramati had his number torn from his back and was nearly brought down by one of the hooligans. Bramati's teammate Paolo Bettini wanted to throw his bidon at the assailant.
"I saw that one of the two pushed Davide and took the number off his jersey," Bettini told De Telegraaf after the stage. "Then he came towards me, but I could just avoid him. At that moment you are certainly scared. It's a pity that something like this happened, but I see it as a single incident."
Rabobank's team director Frans Maassen commented, "I've never seen this before and also hope that it's the first and last time. You know that there is always a chance that something will happen, because the public can stand freely along the road, but you don't count on it."
Police haven't managed to apprehend the two hooligans.