Clearly this is not how Mathieu van der Poel expected to experience this Sunday, September 25, in Wollongong (Australia). Cited among the favorites in the world championships road race won by Belgian Remco Evenepoelthe Dutch rider dismounted after barely thirty kilometers, overwhelmed by a night spent partly at the police station.
After a particularly restless night, he was able to take the start of the race, but was therefore forced to retire very early. What happened ? What’s next for the Dutch? This is what we know about this case.
altercation with teenagers
It is 10:40 p.m., according to the police contacted by AFP, when the situation intensifies. In his hotel, Mathieu van der Poel tries to sleep, but the noise in the corridor of his hotel would disturb him. I wanted to go to bed early yesterday (Saturday) night, but there were many children in the hotel corridor who kept knocking on my door, the Dutchman explained before the start of the race. 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 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.
Called, the police arrived at the hotel and took the broker to the station. The Dutchman was questioned for much of the night. He went back to his hotel room. “at four in the morning”but according to his manager, Christoph Roodhooft, he “Hasn’t slept all night”. Enough to undermine any online racing ambitions a few hours later.
court appearance Tuesday
From now on, the question of the sequence of events for Mathieu van der Poel arises. While the races are scheduled for next week in Europe, the riders’ returns should be phased in, but the Dutchman will need to stay in Australia until at least Tuesday. Released on bail overnight, he is due to appear in court in Sutherland, in Sydney’s southern suburbs.
What will be the state, also of the rider, who lived a season in general below expectations, despite a victory in the Tour of Flanders and winning the first stage of the Giro and wearing the pink jersey. “He is very disappointed, he is mentally devastated”, acknowledged his manager. It was planned for the Italian races in preparation for the Tour of Lombardy, before a break and after the return to cyclocross. From now on, the end of the season can be written with dotted lines.