The night before the men’s World Championship road race, Sydney police detained Dutch rider Mathieu van der Poel and accused him of assaulting two minors.
The 27-year-old, a stage winner in the Tour de France, was one among the favorites to win the race on Sunday in Wollongong.
Police were summoned to his hotel on Saturday night, and he was arrested on two charges of common assault.
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Van der Poel began the race but later dropped.
The 267km elite men’s race, the championship’s closing event, took place on Sunday in Wollongong, where the competition had been going on for the previous week.
Van der Poel, a four-time cyclocross world champion and two-time Tour of Flanders champion, told the Belgian sports website Sporza that he confronted two kids who were “constantly” banging on his hotel room door.
He said he didn’t return to his hotel room until 4:00 local time after being charged.
Police in New South Wales stated: “He reportedly got into an argument verbally with two 13- and 14-year-old females.
“The male is also accused of pushing both adolescents, leading one to fall to the ground and the other to be forced against a wall, grazing her elbow slightly in the process.
The event was reported to the hotel administration, who subsequently phoned the police.
According to the police, he was granted bail and will appear in court on Tuesday.