Over-eager 'fan' tries to have a go on Ben King's Cannondale-Garmin team bike during stage four of the Vuelta a España

A roadside spectator appeared to try and ride off on Ben King’s Cannondale team bike after a crash during stage four of the Vuelta a España on Tuesday.

Television cameras captured the moment that the bare-topped, cigarette-smoking fan attempted to swing a leg over King’s Cannondale-Garmin team bike – before King himself intervenes and hurriedly gets on his team radio.

>>> Five talking points from stage four of the Vuelta a España

It’s unclear exactly what the spectator is attempting to do, as removing the bike is hardly helping out the stranded King. Perhaps he was straightening the bars? If he was trying to steal it, then he had rather a large number of witnesses. Maybe he just wanted to see what it was like to sit on a pro’s bike? We may never know.

The incident happened in a pinch-point during the stage from Estepona to Vejer de la Frontera, where street furniture caused the peloton to clash momentarily. King was searching for his missing Garmin computer as the spectator grabbed his bike – the computer was never recovered.

“Don’t know if he was “helping” or taking off as I was searching people for my stolen Garmin. What a cluster!” said King via Twitter after the stage.

The 26-year-old American was one of a number of riders caught up in the crash. Thankfully he maintained contact with his machine, and finished the stage three minutes and 58 seconds behind eventual winner Alejandro Valverde (Movistar). Orica-GreenEdge’s Esteban Chaves leads the race overall.

  • DP

    well you could have run after him in your cleats. Hes a smoker

  • Josh Tambini

    I don’t mind if you want to “Stand By Me” but don’t get on my bike

  • RobTM

    Kirby mentioned possibility of dust on road from the tram line construction leading to skid. The peleton were riding fairly hot through the curve and cars & spectators, were on outside of bend, some riders got left with too little room and lost it near (at?) edge of road.
    Spain is not as health & safety conscious as northern Europe, there’s always lots of Vuelta crashes without any deliberate cause, just difficulty of funnelling peleton through pinch points & poorly marked hazards

  • TrevorHoldsworth

    Bunch of drunken cockroaches. One (two?) also swiped his bottles. He’s lucky to still have his clothes on. 🙂
    Almost looks like somebody tried to dip in his pocket – was the crash deliberately caused by spectators?

  • J1

    I think he wanted to sit on a pros bike, he was never going to be in with a chance of stealing it. The stolen Garmin is despicable though.

  • Joe

    Spanish gypsies thieves greetings to the English drunken pirates

  • eminusx

    won’t they be able to track its whereabouts via GPs? 🙂

  • loz

    welcome to spain, thieving gitanos

  • david hayden

    Classic scam,he distacted Ben King by trying to get on his bike ,meanwhile his accomplice was nicking the computer.Job done successfully by the look of it.

  • ummm…

    if he was trying to fix something, then that was awfully nice – but possibly not needed. I’m tempted to say that any other motive is down right despicable. But, then I remember this is a bike race.