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Dutch media has revealed more details surrounding the arrest and assault case involving Mathieu van der Poel and two minors in Australia, with several outlets sharing alleged video footage of the incident.
Van der Poel was charged with common assault on Monday following a late-night altercation at the Dutch team hotel ahead of Sunday’s UCI Road World Championships after two teenage girls, aged 13 and 14, repeatedly knocked on his hotel room door and ran away.
A pre-race favorite, Van der Poel would later start but abandon the road race Sunday.
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Van der Poel denied touching either of the minors, but he pled guilty to common assault in an Australian court, and was fined $1,500. He was allowed to leave Australia on Monday, and is banned from returning to the country for three years.
On Tuesday Wielerflits in Holland and Het Nieuwsblad in Belgium, both reported on two videos that have circulated on the Internet.
VeloNews has seen one of the videos, which lasts less than 10 seconds, and appears to briefly show a man in his underwear chasing two girls in a hotel corridor. The footage is grainy and Van der Poel cannot be clearly identified, but the decor of the hotel in the video matches the setting of the Novotel Brighton Resort, where the incident took place. Like Wielerflits, VeloNews will not share the video given that it identifies one of the two young girls.
According to Het Algemeen Dagblad, the girls were not aware that a professional cyclist was in the room. The first video shows the man entering the room the girls ran to after running away. The video then stops.
A second video, which VeloNews has not seen but has been viewed by Dutch publications, involves an argument between Van der Poel and the girls’ parents.
According to AD the following is said:
Van der Poel: “I didn’t touch anybody.”
The mother: “Shut up, it’s on camera.”
VDP: “Show me, no problem.”
TM: “You are not allowed in my room.”
VDP: “You are not allowed to knock my door for three fucking hours.”
TM: “You threatened us.”
VDP: “Then call the police and tell them about this.”
TM: “I already did. They are on their way.”
VDP: “Fine, are you sure?”
More details are revealed in court documents obtained by Dutch media
“He waited for the victims to knock on his door and chased them into their hotel room, following close behind them,” read an excerpt from the court documents.
It’s then claimed that one of the girls ran into a corner of their room, crouching and covering her face. It’s then alleged that Van der Poel grabbed her by both arms, squeezing them and pushing her into a wall and shouting at her. The girl reportedly suffered a minor carpet burn to her right elbow as well as redness to her left forearm.
Van der Poel then saw the second girl was trying to exit the room and pushed her against a wall with both of his hands. He then left the girls’ room and returned to his own.
Van der Poel has denied physically touching the girls.
On Monday, Van der Poel’s trade team Alpecin-Deceuninck released the following statement:
“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. Initially, our focus was on providing legal assistance on site and on helping Mathieu van der Poel to return home quickly,” the statement read.
“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.”