He arrived in Australia as a favorite for the world road championships. But Dutch cyclist Mathieu van der Poel will finally have to answer to the Australian justice system for assaulting two teenagers.
Arrested by police on Saturday night 24 September before being released on Sunday morning, the Dutchman took the start of the world road race in Wollongong, the crowning event. But he dismounted after only about twenty miles, exhausted and “mentally destroyed”.
According to Christoph Roodhooft, manager of his Alpecin-Fenix professional team, the multiple cyclocross world champion has “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.
“I Was Fed Up”
“At around 10:40 p.m. on Saturday, a male was involved in a verbal altercation with two teenage boys aged 13 and 14 at a hotel in Brighton-Le-Sands.” police said in a press release to Agence France-Presse (AFP), without revealing, as usual, the identity of van der Poel.
“According to the alleged facts, he pushed the two teenagers, one fell to the ground and the other was thrown against a wall, causing a small scratch on his elbow.”details the text. “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 have you been “charged with two cases of assault”the police added.
Released on bail, van der Poel, whose passport was seized by authorities, is now due in court in Sutherland on Tuesday.
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.
Lightning in the platoon
“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.”said Christoph Roodhooft, questioned by the press.
He went back to his room “at four in the morning”van der Poel did not sleep all night, according to his team 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 runner before taking the exit. He gave up very early in the race, before hurtling into a white SUV without saying a word.
Thunder shook the platoon. ” What ? He greeted me at the beginning! »Two-time defending champion Julian Alapahilippe threw his trainer, Thomas Voeckler, when the latter approached him during the race to tell him that van der Poel had “covered”.
“He is very disappointed, he is mentally devastated”Christoph Roodhooft reported. “I had high ambitions for this race. He had been gaining momentum for two months and had found the joy of racing after his difficult Tour de France. » But instead of a potential podium finish, Mathieu van der Poel’s future will be decided in court on Tuesday.