FABIO FERRARI / AFP
Forced to retire after a sleepless night at the police station just hours before the World Cycling Championships, Mathieu van der Poel abandoned the race after some thirty kilometres.
CYCLING – From dream to nightmare. Mathieu van der Poel I dreamed of wearing this rainbow t-shirt from cycling world championbut the Dutch athlete, involved in an altercation with two teenagers on the night from Saturday to Sunday, was forced to spend the night at the police station before the start of the race, this Sunday, September 25.
Stopped by policeman On the Australian Saturday night before being released early in the morning, the Dutchman took the start of the world road race in Wollongong, the queen event of which he was one of the big favorites this year. But grandson of Raymond Poulidor dismounted after only about thirty kilometers, exhausted and “mentally destroyed”. The race was finally won by Belgian Remco Evenepoel after a breakout.
🚴♂️🚔 A fun business for Mathieu van der Poel. Arrested last night in Australia, he was forced to… https://t.co/A233EHgvpq
– francetvsport (@francetvsport)
According to Christoph Roodhooftthe coach of his professional team Alpecin-Fenix, Mathieu van der Poel “I did not sleep all night”after an incident that occurred on Saturday night at the Dutch hotel in Brighton-Le-Sands, in the southern suburbs of Sydney, revealed by the Flemish chain Sporza.
Without revealing, as usual, the identity of the multiple cyclocross world championPolice in New South Wales confirmed to AFP that a 27-year-old man, the same age as the cyclist, had been charged in two cases. “assault” against two teenagers aged 13 and 14.
“At around 10:40pm on Saturday, a man was involved in a verbal altercation with two teenage boys aged 13 and 14 at a hotel in Brighton-Le-Sands. According to the reported facts, he pushed the two teenagers, one of them fell to the ground and the other was thrown against a wall, causing a small scratch on her elbow.police said in a statement.
Yesterday, van de lokale politie statement: https://t.co/MiuIwV109u
— Thijs Zonneveld (@thijszonneveld)
“Hotel management was notified and then called the police” Y “A 27-year-old man was arrested shortly after”before “taken to Kogarah police station”Where was it “charged with two cases of assault”the police added. Released on bail, the Dutch cyclist is due to appear in court in Sutherland, in Sydney’s southern suburbs, on Tuesday.
Julian Alaphilippe in awe
At the start of the online race, Van der Poel did not deny the incident. “Yes, it’s true, there was a little argument”he told reporters. “I wanted to go to bed early last night, but there were many children in the hotel corridor who kept knocking on my door. After a while, he was fed up. I told them, in a not very understanding way, to stop. That’s when they called the police and took me away.” at the station, he said.
“Mathieu went to bed at 9 pm and at midnight there was still noise. The children played in the hall and knocked on his door. He came out to tell them to stop but obviously not in the right way.”added Christoph Roodhooft, questioned by the press.
He went back to his room “at 4 in the morning”, Van der Poel did not sleep a wink all night, according to his manager. “It’s certainly not ideal, it’s even a disaster, but there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ll do my best “said the disappointed cyclist before taking the exit.
He gave up after only thirty kilometers of running, before rushing into a white SUV, without saying a word. A thunder that shook the platoon. ” What ? He greeted me at the beginning! », He has launched double defending champion Julian Alaphilippe to his trainer, Thomas Voeckler, when the latter approached him during the race to tell him that Van der Poel had “covered” (an expression that means “give up a career” in cycling).
The fictitious start has been given. Mathieu van der Poel is present at the start despite the arrest of him by the police… https://t.co/BlaD5NIeEX
— The Gruppetto (@TheGruppetto)
#Wollongong2022 #LesRP “Van der Poel to the canvas” https://t.co/mpMGLLjvKJ
— Passion Cycling (@PassionCycling)
“He is very disappointed, he is mentally devastated”Christoph Roodhooft reported. “I had high ambitions for this race. He had been building momentum for two months and had rediscovered the joy of racing after his difficult Tour de France.” But instead of a potential podium finish, Mathieu van der Poel’s World Cup will bring him onto the pitch on Tuesday.
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