MADRID (Reuters) - A suspected arson attack destroyed the tour bus of the Aqua Blue Sport cycling team at the Vuelta a Espana in the southern Spanish city of Almeria, the Irish-based outfit said on Thursday.
A mattress had been placed underneath the bus in the early hours of Thursday and set alight, it said.
“Our team bus has been completely damaged in a cowardly arson attack over night. No one was injured. Police have arrested a suspect,” said a statement on the team’s Twitter account, showing images of the burned vehicle.
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.”
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 one minute 19 seconds over nearest challenger Vincenzo Nibali.
Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Keith Weir