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

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.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

13 comments

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thelimopit [139 posts] 2 years ago
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Johnny Foreigner + War heroes + cyclists = perfect Daily Mail fodder.

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Simon_MacMichael [2450 posts] 2 years ago
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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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thelimopit [139 posts] 2 years ago
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No, I can't think of any frog-faced plane-crashing xenophobic buffoons either...

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Argos74 [392 posts] 2 years ago
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There may be more pressing affairs at hand. Uganda for example. Very important this time of year, Uganda.

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Legin [97 posts] 2 years ago
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Ugandan affairs will always be prioritised; its a rule of politicking  1

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Simon E [2727 posts] 2 years ago
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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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oozaveared [937 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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fatbeggaronabike [815 posts] 2 years ago
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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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farrell [1950 posts] 2 years ago
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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?

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fatbeggaronabike [815 posts] 2 years ago
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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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farrell [1950 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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hoski [81 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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fatbeggaronabike [815 posts] 2 years ago
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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.