Tour de France organizers will contact Jan Bakelants’s AG2R-La Mondiale team to ask him to apologize after the Belgian rider was reported to have made derogatory comments about the race’s podium girls.
Bakelants made the comments in an interview with Belgian paper Het Laatste Nieuws. Asked what he would take along with him for his free moments during the Tour, he said: “A packet of vegan-friendly condoms, for sure. You never know where those podiummissen hang out!”
He also said that he and Romain Bardet fought to be the rider from the team of nine who got the single room at the team hotel, rather than having to share.
“We will contact his team so that he makes an apology,” Tour director Christian Prudhomme told Reuters on Wednesday.
Contacted by Reuters, AG2R-La Mondiale said: “We have seen this interview and the answers of Jan Bakelants, who certainly wanted to be humorous, but in the present case it was very bad taste. We apologize to the organizers and to those who may have been offended by this remark.”
At the 2013 Tour of Flanders, now world champion Peter Sagan apologized after grabbing a podium girl’s bottom.
What would be appropriate is for Prudhomme to apologize for having podium girls…
Their whole purpose is for guys to be able to make these kinds of jokes, don’t act so surprised when it happens.