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Spectator who threw cup of drink at Marianne Vos at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad to be questioned by police

The Dutch multi-discipline star said after winning the race: “I did get something over me… It is a shame but yes, it happened”

The bizarre, weird and rather unfortunate trend of spectators throwing stuff at pro cyclists at races seems to have continued last weekend at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, as a cup containing some sort of liquid was thrown at Dutch star and eventual winner Marianne Vos.

As Vos, 18 years since turning pro and setting both the road and cyclocross scene on fire, continued to turn back the clock and deliver another mesmerising performance at the first classic of the season — also marking her debut at this race.

The Visma-Lease a Bike rider managed to win the sprint in a group of four at the head of the peloton, including SD Worx’s Lotte Kopecky and Lidl-Trek’s Elisa Longo-Borghini.

However, television camera footage showed that on the foot of Muur van Geraardsbergen, 16 kilometres from the finish line and right before Vos pulled clear in what would prove to be the winning four-rider group, she was hit in the face with a drink.

Wielerflits reports the Belgian police have now confirmed that they have identified the spectator and brought them in for questioning. They also added that the incident had caused widespread annoyance in cycling circles and they had been examining the matter.

The police said: “Unfortunately, this wonderful sporting event was overshadowed by an incident in which Marianne Vos had a cup of drink thrown in the face by a spectator. This incident sparked outrage within the cycling community.”

“Immediately after the incident, we took all necessary steps and acted decisively,” said chief of police, Patrice De Mets. “The perpetrator has now been identified. We have invited this person for questioning to take responsibility for his behaviour. The criminal assessment will be made after the interrogation by the Belgian public prosecutor's office.”

Vos confirmed the incident took place after the race, and that it had taken some of the shine off of her 249th professional victory. “I did indeed get something over me,” she said. “That is not part of it and it is a shame, but yes… It happened” 

> Mathieu van der Poel spits at “booing” spectator on way to 7th straight win (+ video)

It was earlier reported that Vos was splashed with beer, however, from the footage it appears to be a clear liquid. It’s also suggested that the incident could potentially be treated as an assault.

This marks the second time in the space of two months that a pro rider has had liquid thrown at them during a race. At the tail-end of last year, with the cyclocross season once again in the midst of being dominated by the current men’s world champion Matthieu van der Poel, he was subject to similar treatment.

While on his way to his seventh straight win of the season, at the UCI World Cup round in Hulst, a bunch of “booing” spectators were also involved in throwing liquids, alleged to be beer and urine at the Dutch rider. The men’s road race champion retaliated by spitting at them, for which he was fined €250 by the UCI.

Mathieu van der Poel spitting at Hulst World Cup December 2023

Mathieu van der Poel spitting at Hulst World Cup, December 2023

According to Van der Poel, the spectator he targeted had been exhibiting “unsportsmanlike behaviour” even before the race began. He said: “I’ve been dealing with that all year and I was tired of it. It did ruin the atmosphere a bit. I'm fine with the fact that you're not for me. But I'm not okay with booing.

“I’m a bit fed up with being booed every week. After a while, it’s enough, even for me.”

Adwitiya joined in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.

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Secret_squirrel | 4 months ago
1 like

Im not usually one for mob justice but the best way to deal with this sort of behaviour is a good shoeing from real fans...

Vo2Maxi | 4 months ago

The guy in the green jacket? Ducked down immediately after he threw it. Despicable scum coward. I hope he gets prosecuted, and I hope his faca and name become widely known, so that he can fully face the consequences.

don simon fbpe | 4 months ago

Dickheads everywhere.

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