By Ryan Dabbs
Photographs and video footage of a man throwing a traffic cone into the path of riders at the Women’s Tour in Oxford yesterday have been passed onto Thames Valley Police, with the organiser also making the police aware of the incident.
The Women's Tour was travelling through Oxford, 22km into the 147.7km opening stage, when the man threw the traffic cone at the riders. Thankfully, the object didn't hit anyone.
In a statement, the race organiser Sweetspot said: “We are aware of an incident on Cowley Road this morning and take it very seriously. We are investigating and have passed footage on to the police.”
The statement came after Twitter user Jesper Ekelund shared the images he captured of the incident, stating: "Shocked and disgusted. Watching the #WomensTour on Cowley Road and witnessed a man throwing a cone in front of the riders. Thankfully no accident."
Shocked and disgusted. Watching the #WomensTour on Cowley Road and witnessed a man throwing a cone in front of the riders. Thankfully no accident. Identity hidden here but how best to report this @OxfordshireCC, @TVP_Oxford, @tvprp, @thewomenstour? pic.twitter.com/1hH6gmn3NkOctober 4, 2021
In the replies to his tweet, Ekelund expressed his horror at witnessing the incident unfold.
"It was awful to witness and I'm glad no one was hurt.
"Hopefully he will be caught."
Ekelund has purposely hidden the identity of the man - making only his arm visible in one of the images posted to Twitter - who threw the traffic cone, so as not to compromise any investigation or action by the police by revealing the full image.
A video will also accompany the report to the police, after another Twitter user claimed that they had a video from a different angle. However, Ekelund urged them not to share the footage, and instead send it directly to the police.
Marta Bastianelli of Alé BTC Ljubljana prevailed in the opening stage of the Women's Tour, which concludes on Saturday October 9 in Felixstowe after six stages. Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo), fresh off her win at the inaugural Paris-Roubaix Femmes, will be looking to retain her Women's Tour title though, following last year's postponed event.