Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome is among the cyclists expressing outrage after Nicholas Dlamini’s arrest in a South African park turned violent, leaving the NTT Pro Cycling rider with a broken arm.
“Apparently @nich_dlamini “injured himself”. Appalling @TableMountainNP,” Froome said on Twitter.
The “injured himself” comment was a reference to the official statement from Table Mountain National Park authorities, who say Dlamini went through a gate without paying a required fee or showing a permit.
Video of the incident shows Dlamini struggling with rangers, who then turn around and ask fellow cyclist Donovan Le Cok to stop recording the incident.
“It was very disturbing,” Le Cok told VeloNews. “The ranger just man-handled him, twisting his arm up behind his head. You can hear it breaking. His arm was sticking in the wrong direction, and they threw him into the back of the vehicle.”
Le Cok also told VeloNews that park rangers are “notorious for being aggressive.”
“No matter what happened before this footage was taken,it can hardly warrant this kind of senseless violence by a trained official,” the cycling group Table Mountain Bikers said on Twitter.
NTT Pro Cycling, which recently rebranded from its former name as Team Dimension Data, released a statement confirming Dlamini suffered a broken left humerus.
“I was both devastated and appalled to see the video of Nicholas on social media,” team principal Douglas Ryder said. “To watch a young man who I know so well in such unnecessary distress made me feel sick, to be honest. The way in which he was treated is simply not acceptable.”
The team said Dlamini has traveled to Tokyo to see the Olympic course in hopes of being selected for the South African team in 2020.
Dlamini made his Grand Tour debut in the Vuelta a España this year. The 24-year-old cyclist has won the mountain classification in three stage races — the 2017 Giro Ciclistico d’Italia (not the Grand Tour Giro d’Italia but a shorter event for young riders), the 2018 Tour Down Under and the 2018 Tour of Britain.
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