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Giant-Shimano sprinter sent direct message on Twitter to 18-year-old David McCarthy

Giant-Shimano sprinter Marcel Kittel has given his backing to the Irish teenage cyclist who took a ‘selfie’ with the German star at the end of Sunday’s Stage 3 of the Giro d’Italia in Dublin on Sunday.

David McCarthy, aged 18 and a rider with the Nicolas Roche Performance Team development squad, snapped the picture as Kittel lay exhausted on the ground after clinching his second successive stage win in the race.

The moment was captured by professional photographer Kristof Ramon who posted his picture to Instagram and it quickly went viral, and once McCarthy was identified the teenager began to receive abuse from fans who thought he was being disrespectful.

According to the Irish Independent, his family were so worried that they asked McCarthy, who publicly apologised to Kittel and anyone else he may have offended, to stay off the internet.

His mother, Colette, told the newspaper that Kittel had been in touch with her son and told him not to worry about the incident.

“He expressed his support for David through a direct message (on Twitter) and told him not to worry,” she said, although she added that she had been “shocked” by the abuse her son had received.

Kittel, who celebrated his 26th birthday on Sunday, would be missing from the race when it resumed in Italy on Tuesday after contracting a fever during the transfer from Ireland.

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.

11 comments

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jon_boi [5 posts] 2 years ago
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I'd sooner see an excited fan take an inappropriately timed selfie with Kittel post race than see some plonker standing in the way of the peloton trying to get a photo. Some of them are so close to getting ridden into and that really is a show of complete disrespect for a professional athlete that they supposedly support.

Glad to see the internet was reigned in and this didn't get silly.

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OldRidgeback [2620 posts] 2 years ago
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jon_boi wrote:

I'd sooner see an excited fan take an inappropriately timed selfie with Kittel post race than see some plonker standing in the way of the peloton trying to get a photo. Some of them are so close to getting ridden into and that really is a show of complete disrespect for a professional athlete that they supposedly support.

Glad to see the internet was reigned in and this didn't get silly.

+1 - some of the comments posted in the previous story relating to this incident got way out of hand

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dp24 [201 posts] 2 years ago
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jon_boi wrote:

I'd sooner see an excited fan take an inappropriately timed selfie with Kittel post race than see some plonker standing in the way of the peloton trying to get a photo.

Absolutely. There was a ridiculous overreaction to this. The kid didn't do anyone any harm, he just got carried away in the moment. Some people really need to get a sense of perspective.

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pmr [197 posts] 2 years ago
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The thing is the image looks worse than it is, as it could be seen as someone that has come down after a crash.
When in fact Kittell was in a good mood having won, albeit blowing a little!

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kairey1964 [16 posts] 2 years ago
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World has gone crazy, what about the paparazzi that took the picture of the pair of them and made money by selling his pictures???

What about the saboteurs I read about in the UK throwing tacks and oil on roads when sportives are passing through?

Its idiots that need abusing not fans of the sport!

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lolol [194 posts] 2 years ago
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That was a nice thing of Marcel Kittel to do, to defuse the whole thing, he comes across as a really good bloke  41

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Simon E [2722 posts] 2 years ago
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dp24 wrote:

The kid didn't do anyone any harm, he just got carried away in the moment. Some people really need to get a sense of perspective.

Absolutely! The outrage over this is hard to comprehend. The kid made a rather public mistake. No-one got hurt. Unlike a lot of the self-appointed 'moral guardians' out there, he apologised - in public. He will surely learn from it ( hopefully others too).

We all make mistakes, but some reactions were very unpleasant and unnecessary. It shows how horribly intolerant and abusive people can be. Thankfully, there are many that are better than that, including Marcel Kittel it seems.
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OldRidgeback [2620 posts] 2 years ago
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Simon E wrote:
dp24 wrote:

The kid didn't do anyone any harm, he just got carried away in the moment. Some people really need to get a sense of perspective.

Absolutely! The outrage over this is hard to comprehend. The kid made a rather public mistake. No-one got hurt. Unlike a lot of the self-appointed 'moral guardians' out there, he apologised - in public. He will surely learn from it ( hopefully others too).

We all make mistakes, but some reactions were very unpleasant and unnecessary. It shows how horribly intolerant and abusive people can be. Thankfully, there are many that are better than that, including Marcel Kittel it seems.
 16

And bear in mind he's a teenager too. How many of us did stupid things when we were that age? He's been big enough to apologise as well, which gives a very positive impression.

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Peter Whitten [3 posts] 2 years ago
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To those commenting on how nice a fella Kittel seems... I stood about 5 feet away from Kittel as he was about to be driven back to his hotel from the paddock area on the Friday morning of the Grande Partenza in Belfast. Having already stayed and talked to fans, signing autographs, etc. a young fan knocked on the car window, Kittel gestured and the car stopped. He wound down the window and waited while the young fella took a selfie taken with him and Marcel. A brilliant moment, I thought.

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Joselito [160 posts] 2 years ago
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Fair play to Kittel, I thought the look he gave meant he wanted to kill the kid.
But seems he has a sense of humour, didn't he apologise to his bike as well after a hissy one a few months back?

On the subject of fan pics, this did the rounds on twitter recently, two Man United fans met Roy Keane at an airport and asked for a pic.
Roy says yes but as one takes the pic and the other goes to put an arm around him Keane says 'There's no need for that is there?'

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synoptic [10 posts] 2 years ago
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Some people get paid to take these kind of pictures...