Cycling is not considered a contact sport, nor is it commonly associated with sports where someone is likely to be slapped. However, contact and slapping were on display Saturday during a race in Italy.
Miguel Angel Lopez, a Colombian cyclist, was competing in the Giro d’Italia when a fan who was running alongside the racers collided with another fan, who fell into Lopez.
Miguel Angel Lopez was knocked off by a fan in the Giro. He responded pic.twitter.com/rrhMnlgFkD
— Dodge (@seidodge) June 1, 2019
Lopez apologized after the incident.
“I’m sorry for what happened. I was full of pure adrenaline,” Lopez said, according to the Associated Press via USA Today Sports. “But there needs to be more respect for the cyclists.”
But not everyone agreed with Lopez and his apologetic stance. Guiseppe Martinelli, the sports director for Lopez’s racing team, didn’t think the slapping went far enough.
“I’m only sorry that he didn’t give the spectator some more punishment,” Martinelli said, according to multiple news outlets. “He deserved it for what he did.”
Lopez ended up finishing 18th in the stage.
The final portion of the race will take place Sunday in Verona, Italy.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn