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Cycling: after his conviction for assault, Mathieu van der Poel left Australia


The Dutch champion has pleaded guilty to shoving two teenage girls at his hotel the night before the Worlds road race on Sunday.

He pleaded "guilty" but was able to leave Australia.

Dutch cyclist Mathieu van der Poel was sentenced to simple fines on Monday after his altercation with two teenage girls and his night at the post, which led to his abandonment at the Worlds on Sunday.

According to a press release from the Dutch cycling federation (KNWU), Van der Poel, 27, one of the great figures of the current peloton, was on his way to the Netherlands on Monday evening.

His professional team Alpecin-Fenix ​​said he should be "home" on Tuesday, without giving details of when and where he would arrive.

Sunday morning, the information was astonishing in Wollongong (south-eastern Australia), on the starting line of the queen event of the world championships, of which the Dutchman was one of the favorites: arrested by the police , the runner had spent much of the night at the police station, accused of violence against two teenage girls aged 13 and 14, whose nocturnal noise at his hotel prevented him from sleeping.

If he had been able to start the race, van der Poel had quickly given up, "mentally destroyed", according to Christoph Roodhooft, a manager of Alpecin-Fenix.

The multiple cyclo-cross world champion, winner of numerous road classics, was initially summoned to court in Sutherland, near Sydney, on Tuesday amid rumors that he was unable to leave the territory.

He plans to appeal later.

But Mathieu van der Poel chose to plead guilty on Monday and was immediately sentenced to two fines, of 1,000 dollars and 500 Australian dollars (1,010 euros in total), for "assault", we learned from a judicial source. .

According to his lawyer, Michael Rowe, the runner intends to appeal later, but was then free to leave Australia.

On Sunday, without revealing the identity of the defendant, as usual, the New South Wales police confirmed to AFP that a 27-year-old man had been charged with two cases of "assault".

“At around 10.40pm on Saturday, a man was involved in a verbal altercation with two teenage girls aged 13 and 14 at a hotel in Brighton-Le-Sands.

According to the alleged facts, he pushed the two teenagers, one falling to the ground and the other being thrown against a wall, causing a small scratch on her elbow, ”said the police.

At the start of the race, Mathieu 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 (Saturday night, editor's note) but there were lots of children in the hotel hallway who kept knocking on my door.

After a while, I was fed up.

I told them, in a not very sympathetic way, to stop.

It was then that the police were called and took me away,” he continued.

" A desaster "

Questioned by the press, the manager of Alpecin-Fenix ​​had delivered the same story.

Returning to his room “at four in the morning”, Van der Poel had then not slept all night, added Christoph Roodhooft.

“It's certainly not ideal, it's even a disaster, but there's nothing I can do about it.

I'm going to do my best, ”commented the runner, before giving up after about thirty kilometers, then rushing into an SUV without a word.

The news had only filtered late among his opponents, shaking the peloton.

" What?

He said hello to me on departure!

“, had launched the double holder of the French title Julian Alaphilippe to his coach, Thomas Voeckler, who informed him during the race of the reason for the abandonment of the Dutchman.

In his absence, it is the main favorite of the event, the Belgian Remco Evenepoel, who became world champion on Sunday.

"Needless to mention that everyone loses here", regretted Alpecin-Fenix ​​in a press release, specifying that he wanted to have "a clear picture of the course of events" and "a conversation" with the runner before deciding on the "next steps".

The KNWU deplored in a press release an “unfortunate and disappointing” event.

At the end of the season, will Mathieu van der Poel, twice Dutch road champion (2018, 2020) and stage winner on the 2021 Tour, turn the page on this affair quickly?

By giving up on Sunday, “he feels like he has let his country down.

It takes a series of a lot of things to arrive at such circumstances … He will learn the lesson, ”said his lawyer, Me Rowe.

Source: leparis

All sports articles on 2022-09-27

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