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Alpecin-Deceuninck will ‘follow up in appropriate way’ after Mathieu van der Poel arrest

Van der Poel was arrested and convicted of common assault after pushing two minors that had been knocking on his hotel room door.

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SYDNEY, Australia (VN) — Alpecin-Deceuninck is looking into the incident that resulted in Mathieu van der Poel being arrested on the eve of the road race at the UCI Road World Championships so that it can “follow up in an appropriate way.”

Van der Poel was arrested by Australian police late Saturday night after an altercation with two teenage girls that he says were knocking repeatedly on his door. Police report that a 27-year-old staying at a hotel in Brighton Le Sands, Sydney — where the Dutch team was staying — pushed the teenagers with one falling onto the ground and the other into a wall, resulting in a graze to her elbow.

The Dutchman had his passport confiscated and was supposed to appear in court Tuesday, but his case was expedited, and he was convicted on two accounts of common assault in court Monday. He was fined $1,500AU ($980USD) and was allowed to return home.

According to Reuters, he pleaded guilty following a discussion with his lawyers as it was expected that he would not ultimately be convicted. However, this was not the case and the conviction is being appealed.

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For the first time since the incident, Van der Poel’s Alpecin-Deceuninck squad released a short statement on the incident, saying that it would examine the incident before taking “further steps,” though it’s not clear if this would mean punishment for Van der Poel or something else.

“We have taken note of the events that took place in Wollongong in the past 48 hours. Needless to mention everyone loses here, and we can only regret that,” a statement from the team said. “Initially, our focus was on providing legal assistance on-site and on helping Mathieu van der Poel to return home quickly. Now that has happened, we want to get a clear picture of the course of events, through inspection of the complete file (we don’t have the court documents yet) and a conversation with Mathieu van der Poel and those involved at Team NL. Based on this, we will determine which further steps to take.

“We would like to emphasize that respect for others, inside and outside the peloton, is and always has been a core value of Alpecin-Deceuninck. That is why we want to follow up on this in an appropriate way. Only then will team Alpecin-Deceuninck and Mathieu van der Poel communicate about this again.”

Van der Poel had been a major favorite for the road race last Sunday and he told reporters that he had gone to bed early to be fresh for the event. However, he didn’t get much sleep after he was arrested following the altercation at around 10:40 p.m. and did not return to his hotel until close to 4 a.m.

Though he did start the race, he pulled out of it less than an hour into the event.

It’s not known when Van der Poel will race again, though he’s expected to compete in cyclocross this season.

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