A Belgian cyclist taking part in this year’s Tour de France has been forced to apologise for comments he made about “podium chicks” – the hostesses charged with handing out jerseys, flowers and gifts at the end of each competition stage.
According to the BBC, when asked about how he would handle going without sex for the three weeks of the race by a Belgian newspaper, married Jan Bakelants referenced the hostesses and said he would carry a “pack of condoms, because you never know where those podium chicks have been hanging out”.
Cyclingnews.com reports that Bakelants, part of the AG2R La Mondiale team, was also asked by Het Laatste Nieuws about when he would call his parents for the first time and responded: “When I run out of porno movies.”
Dad-of-one Bakelants, 31, offered his “sincerest apologies” on Twitter “to all those offended” and said his words were “inappropriate”.
My sincerest apologies to all those offended by my words in a so called humouristic itw. My words have been inappropriate.— Jan Bakelants (@Jan_Bakelants) June 29, 2017
AG2R-La Mondiale also apologised, saying his remarks had been in “very bad taste” but also claiming Bakelants had “wanted to be humorous”.
Breaking: Jan Bakelants appoints John McEnroe as PR advisor— Journal Velo (@JournalVelo) June 29, 2017
The women hand out the famous yellow jersey to the leading riders and often kiss the recipients on both cheeks, however the cyclists are not allowed to communicate with them.
In 2013, fellow cyclist Peter Sagan had to apologise after pinching the bottom of a podium hostess during the Tour of Flanders race.
Tour de France starts Saturday (1 July) in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Images: Rex Features