Vuelta a España helicopter foils rooftop marijuana plantation

Police seized 40 plants three days after race footage captured the psychedelic garden

Stage eight of the Vuelta a España had unfortunate repercussions for Miguel Ángel López, who surrendered the red leader's jersey - but consequences of the day were perhaps greater for the owners of a city drug creation factory.

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Three days after the stage concluded, the Mossos d'Esquadra [the police force of Catalonia] seized 40 marijuana plants from a home in Lleida.

Officers - and anyone who was watching the live footage with a keen eye - saw the rooftop plantation in full view when the race helicopter flew over the industrious garden centre during the last kilometre.

According to Catalonian daily newspaper, ARApolice where already aware of the situation, and the occupier had left the premises, leaving behind a collection of furniture on the street as well as the plants on the roof.

No arrests were made when the police bust in to remove the plants, though they took with them quite a haul.

Should the owner be found, the consequences are still unclear - depending upon the purpose of the small forest.

In Spain, growing cannabis to sell is illegal, but since personal use has been decriminalised, growing for self-consumption is not punishable.

The uncertainty lies in the fact that it's not clear how big a plantation must be to be considered commercial.

The race has since moved on, with stage 11 covering 180 kilometres today, from Saint-Palais to Urdax.

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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper, where highlights included interviewing a very irate Freddie Star (and an even more irate theatre owner), as well as 'the one about the stolen chickens'.

Previous to joining the Cycling Weekly team, Michelle was Editor at Total Women's Cycling. She joined CW as an 'SEO Analyst', but couldn't keep her nose out of journalism and in the spreadsheets, eventually taking on the role of Tech Editor before her latest appointment as Digital Editor. 

Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.

Michelle is on maternity leave from July 8 2022, until April 2023.