MILANO, Italy (VN) – Alberto Contador keeps winning grand tours, but race organizers keep hitting the wrong play button.
Contador’s face didn’t give anything away Sunday as Giro organizers played a Spanish national anthem associated with Francisco Franco’s fascist regime during Sunday’s post-race celebration.
Spain’s current national anthem does not include lyrics, but Giro organizers played an older version associated with the dictatorship that’s been banned following the fall of the Franco regime in the 1970s. Contador didn’t flinch as the loudspeakers broadcast such slogans as, “Long live Spain! Raise your arms, sons of Spain, who will once again rise!”
Spanish officials quickly filed a formal complaint and Giro officials just as quickly released a formal apology.
It’s not the first time organizers botched Contador’s podium glory. Tour de France officials inadvertently played the Danish national anthem following his victory in the 2009 edition.