Cyclists in Belgian race fined for urinating on Menin Gate memorial to Great War dead

Race started at WWI monument to commemorate centenary of start of conflict; riders had been told to respect surroundings

by Simon_MacMichael   March 17, 2014  

Menin Gate, Ypres (CC licensed 3.0 on Wikimedia Commons by Johan Bakker

Five junior cyclists taking part in a race in Belgium are to be fined for urinating on the Menin Gate in Ypres, one of  the best-known memorials to British, Irish and Commonwealth casualties of World War One.

They were taking part in the GP André Noyelle yesterday, which preceded the UCI 1.2 Kattekoers race between Ghent and Ypres, reports FlandersNews.be.

Race organiser Bart Vannieuwenhuyze said that those participating in the junior race, allowed to start at the memorial to mark the centenary of the start of the Great War, had been warned beforehand to respect their surroundings.

“We briefed the team leaders clearly that urinating on the Menin Gate would not be tolerated.

"This time we were given special permission to start our race at this symbolic spot as it is 100 years since the beginning of the Great War.

He added: “We can’t let this lie, as we would like to start the race at the Menin Gate again next year.”

Opened in 1927 and owned and maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the Menin Gate commemorates 54,896 members of the armed forces for whom no known grave exists.

They were among some 300,000 British, Irish and Commonwealth troops killed in the Ypres Salient during the conflict.

13 user comments

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Johnny Foreigner + War heroes + cyclists = perfect Daily Mail fodder.

posted by thelimopit [119 posts]
17th March 2014 - 23:42

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thelimopit wrote:
Johnny Foreigner + War heroes + cyclists = perfect Daily Mail fodder.

Quite, was wondering if there was perhaps a "patriotic" MEP who spends a fair bit of time in Brussels the DM could get a quote from? Drawing a blank at the moment though ;0

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [8002 posts]
18th March 2014 - 0:14

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No, I can't think of any frog-faced plane-crashing xenophobic buffoons either...

posted by thelimopit [119 posts]
18th March 2014 - 0:44

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There may be more pressing affairs at hand. Uganda for example. Very important this time of year, Uganda.

posted by Argos74 [285 posts]
18th March 2014 - 5:06

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Ugandan affairs will always be prioritised; its a rule of politicking Smile

posted by Legin [36 posts]
18th March 2014 - 10:41

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I hope young British rider Jake Coward wasn't one of them. This year this promising junior is racing for a Belgian squad with support from a CTT scholarship. Blog entries to date:
http://www.ctt.org.uk/News/tabid/58/itemid/3538/Default.aspx
http://www.ctt.org.uk/Home/tabid/36/itemid/3542/Default.aspx

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posted by Simon E [1940 posts]
18th March 2014 - 14:06

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Pissing on a war memorial is so utterly bloody offensive that I don't care if you're a junior cyclist or not. My son is a junior rider and if he did something like that I'd first have his guts for garters and then I'd start looking at the job I'd done bringing him up and ask where I went wrong.

Fine them and DQ them.

Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand.

posted by oozaveared [559 posts]
18th March 2014 - 18:14

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I would have done more than fine them!

My family has two "names" on the menin gate.

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posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [580 posts]
19th March 2014 - 9:58

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"I DONT KNOW ANY OF THE FACTS BUT LET ME TELL YOU DEATH IS TOO GOOD FOR THESE SCUMS!!

Or,

Have these lads been clocked pissing up the actual memorial or is it, the more likely scenario in my mind, in the grounds surrounding it?

posted by farrell [1388 posts]
19th March 2014 - 14:35

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Farrell, I am going by the FACTS as reported ie the very first paragraph.
"Five junior cyclists taking part in a race in Belgium are to be fined for urinating on the Menin Gate in Ypres"

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posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [580 posts]
21st March 2014 - 11:06

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FATBEGGARONABIKE wrote:
Farrell, I am going by the FACTS as reported ie the very first paragraph.
"Five junior cyclists taking part in a race in Belgium are to be fined for urinating on the Menin Gate in Ypres"

Fluent in Flemish then?

Also, it isn't "FACTS", it's just part of a report which may or may not be accurate.

posted by farrell [1388 posts]
21st March 2014 - 11:08

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FATBEGGARONABIKE wrote:
I would have done more than fine them!

My family has two "names" on the menin gate.

I appreciate that you are rightly offended and upset by their actions.

But what *exactly* would you do to them? Bearing in mind that the implication here is that they are children, albeit older children.

posted by hoski [64 posts]
21st March 2014 - 11:14

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Educate them as to the significance of what the memorial is there for and the suffering that people went through also as well as a fine that they or their team may pay they should have been disqualified and sent home in disgrace.

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posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [580 posts]
21st March 2014 - 11:20

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