Vandals have targeted a number of Ineos Grenadiers team vehicles in Belgium, in what is believed to be an environmental protest.
The incident was reported on social media by a Flemish MP after the vehicles were damaged in Deinze, East Flanders, where the British WorldTour team has a logistics base.
Ineos Grenadiers has confirmed that six of their vehicles were vandalised, including a race car and a team bus, with the words “Ineos will fall” painted on the side.
The damage is believed to be an protest linked to the Ineos Will Fall campaign group, which opposes the environmental impact of chemical company Ineos, which sponsors the cycling team.
The MP who reported the incident online, Annick De Ridder said: “In Deinze, vehicles of the Ineos cycling team yesterday were daubed with ‘Ineos will fall’.
“This has nothing to do with democratic civilian protest anymore, but is sliding down to pure eco-terrorism! The fussing with such marginal figures and movements may therefore stop.”
She added: “It is striking that this new ‘action’ of Ineos Will Fall escaped larger media attention? Still seems relevant to me. I do assume that their next actions will no longer be presented as legitimate civil protest by the media.”
Ineos is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of chemicals and oil products, including the production of solvents, biofuels, plastics, synthetic oils and insulation materials – last year’s announcement that Ineos would be sponsoring a cycling team, formerly Team Sky, was met with criticism from environmental campaigners.
This year, the company has branched into the automotive industry by releasing its own 4×4 vehicle inspired by the Land Rover Defender.
Cycling Weekly has contacted Ineos Grenadiers but the team said it would not be releasing a statement as the matter was now being dealt with by police.