Katusha-Alpecin’s Maxim Belkov has released a statement saying he will take “no further action” against the fan who pushed him off his bike on the Vuelta a España stage 12, after it was revealed the man has a learning disability.
The Russian rider was pushed into the barriers on the Puerto del Torcal climb of Thursday’s stage, falling off his bike and over the barrier into a ditch. Belkov was not hurt in the incident, remounting his bike and finishing 94th on the stage, just over 15 minutes down on solo stage winner Tomasz Marczynski.
Initially angry after the incident, Belkov has since released a statement saying no further action would be taken, but warned fans to give the riders space and look after those in their care.
“Through the Vuelta organizers I have received more details from the Guardia Civil about the incident that occurred yesterday on the Puerto del Torcal when a fan pushed me into the ditch,” Belkov said.
“Apparently the man suffers from a mental disability. For me this is more than enough reason not to undertake any further action against him.
“I am healthy and not injured, but it could have ended worse. Cycling is a very accessible sport. We need to keep it this way. I just hope that this incident will open the eyes of many fans. Please never touch the riders in the race, don’t run alongside us and make sure to always properly supervise anyone under your care.”
Belkov’s wasn’t the only incident involving a fan on the final climb, with a neutral service motorbike also crashing after hitting a fan who appeared to be pushed across the road by a policeman.
Thankfully no riders were involved in the motorbike crash, with the main group of GC contenders avoiding the neutral service vehicle.