By Bjorn Haake and Susan Westemeyer
Roy Sentjens of Team Silence-Lotto spent a few hours in a Spanish jail cell Friday, after being arrested by police for riding through a closed-off road construction zone. He was released after posting bond.
Sentjens told gva.be that he and two young Spanish riders had been on a five-hour training ride on Mallorca before they arrived at the construction zone. "It did not look like we would bother them with our bikes, so we carefully rode through. But they didn't like that. They became very aggressive and demanded that we immediately pay a fine of 10,000 euro."
Thinking that the workers were after money, the riders put up a"violent protest," which resulted in the police being called. "The officers put our bikes and us in their station waggon and brought us to the police station."
Team manager Marc Sergeant confirmed the story, and said that the riders were held for four to five hours. The judge who heard the charges "got a good laugh out of it" before releasing the riders on bail, Sergeant told Cyclingnews..
Sentjens, 28, will not face any punishment from the team for his traffic violations. "No, we are not police," Sergeant said. "We instruct them to follow the traffic rules, and if they do something wrong and get caught and fined, then that's enough punishment."
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