Updated: Tuesday, 13 May 2014 14:48 | By Agence France-Presse

Orica-Greenedge 'disturbed' by Dublin bomb

Australian team Orica-Greenedge says it would be "a very, very sad day" if a car bomb found in Dublin hours before a stage of the Giro d'Italia was targeted at the cycling race.

Orica-Greenedge 'disturbed' by Dublin bomb

Australian team Orica-Greenedge's Michael Matthews celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the last stage of the Tour of Spain on September 15, 2013 - by Jaime Reina

Irish police on Monday said they arrested a man after the bomb, reportedly containing 50 pounds (22 kilograms) of explosives made from fertiliser, was found in a Northern Ireland-registered vehicle in a hotel car park on Saturday night.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but suspicion fell on dissident republican groups opposed to the peace process in Northern Ireland.

"If it was intended for the Giro, it's very sad when any group uses sport to get their political message -- or whatever their message is -- across," Orica-Greenedge sport director Matt White told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"Sport does unite a lot of people. We are not here on any religious cause... It's a very, very sad day if that was the intended use for the bomb."

Young Australian Michael Matthews from the Orica-Greenedge team currently holds the pink jersey of overall Giro leader.

White said the team only learned of the bomb just before they left the Irish capital, the day after Sunday's third stage was won by German Marcel Kittel.

"The boys all got a bit of a shock when they read about it on their iPhones this morning on the plane. But there is no need to make a big fuss about it," White said.

"It's disturbing, but we didn't find out about it until we left this morning (Monday). We won't dwell on the fact, that's for sure."

Tens of thousands of people lined the route in Dublin on Sunday to cheer on the cyclists, with millions more watching on television around the world.

The bomb scare came amid heightened tensions in Northern Ireland following the arrest and later release this month of Gerry Adams, the leader of the republican Sinn Fein party, over a notorious IRA murder.

Around 3,500 people died in three decades of violence between Protestants favouring continued union of Northern Ireland with Britain, and Catholics seeking a unified Ireland.

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