Spanish professional Oscar Sevilla is recovering in hospital after being attacked and having his bike stolen while training in Colombia.
According to Colombian newspaper El Tiempo, Sevilla, who finished as runner-up in the Vuelta a España in 2001, was riding north of the Colombian capital city of Bogotá at around 6am on Sunday morning when he was attacked by five men who jumped out of a taxi.
Sevilla, who now lives in Colombia, suffered a broken arm in the attack as the thieves took his Berria bike, helmet, and sunglasses, making off in the taxi which was waiting around the corner.
Thankfully the thieves did not take Sevilla’s mobile phone, which was in his jersey pocket, meaning that he was able to call his wife to tell her about the incident before a good samartian drove him to hospital.
The Spaniard’s team, Medellin-Inder, confirmed that Sevilla underwent surgery on his arm on Sunday meaning that he is a doubt for a succession of European race in May including the Vuelta a la Comunidad de Madrid, where he is the defending champion, the Vuelta a Asturias, and the Vuelta a Castilla y León.
The team also posted photos of Sevilla’s bike on Twitter, calling for local residents of Bogotá to keep an eye out for the distinctive blue bike.
41-year-old Sevilla had enjoyed a strong start to the season, finishing second overall at the season-opening Vuelta a San Juan and 17th place overall at the Colombia Oro y Paz stage race including two top 10 stage finishes.
Sevilla isn’t the first rider to be mugged for his bike in Colombia, with José Serpa suffering cuts to his back and face as thieves stole his bike during a training ride in 2013.