Cyclist Van der Poel fined over assault on teenager girls in hotel

Van der Poel after pulling out of the race. PhotoL Dirk Waem Belga Photo
Van der Poel after pulling out of the race. PhotoL Dirk Waem Belga Photo

Dutch cyclist Mathieu van der Poel is on his way back to the Netherlands after being fined AU$1,500 (€1,000) after he admitted attacking two teenage girls in an Australian hotel on Saturday.

Van der Poel, 27, was arrested after the incident in Sydney and spent several hours in police custody the night before the road race world championships, returning to his hotel room just six hours before his race was due to start. He pulled out after 30 kilometres.

According to Daily Mail Australia, the rider admitted confronting the girls, aged 13 and 14, after they disrupted his sleep and repeatedly knocked on the door of his room the night before the race, at a court hearing on Monday.

Police say Van der Poel, who has won stages in the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, pushed the two girls, causing one to fall over and the other to hit a wall, causing her to suffer a minor graze to her elbow.

The cyclist was charged with common assault, which under Australian law includes making threats, pushing and shoving, and spitting. His lawyer told the paper that he will appeal against the conviction.

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