A farmer in Yorkshire who found a naked cyclist defecating in his field says that riders tackling the route of the Tour de France should ensure they use proper toilets and not the countryside.
According to the Westmoreland Gazzette, when the farmer confronted the cyclist, who had stripped off his Lycra clothing prior to going about his business, the man promised to come back and clean up his mess, but has failed to do so.
The newspaper says that details of the incident, which happened in Wensleydale, were first revealed on Facebook by the farmer’s wife, who said:
This morning we watched a man on a cycle race come into our field, strip completely naked and use our field as a toilet. Leaving the evidence together with the paper!
Kids thought funny and can't wait to tell everyone at school tomorrow. My husband didn't find it quite as funny as it is in a field he is about to silage.
My husband went and spoke to the bloke and apparently he is coming back later to clean it up. We are very excited about the race but can the people using the route not spoil it and please find REAL toilets. Rant over.
The farmer subsequently said that he had seen something unusual in the field and used binoculars to get a better look.
"There was a man naked after taking his one-piece Lycra suit off squatting down and doing his business,” he recalled.
"I went down and had a word with him. First of all he denied it but I thought: 'You cheeky sod - we've just seen you'.
"He said he was going to come back and clean it up. I took a photo of him - he'd got dressed by then - and told him that I'll pass it to the police and let them sort it out if he doesn't come back.
"I think the chance of him coming back is pretty slim though," he added.
The farmer revealed that to add insult to injury, the spot the cyclist had chosen for his makeshift latrine was the very one from where he and his family planned to watch the Tour de France pass by. He said they would now find another vantage point.
It’s not the first toilet-themed controversy we’ve covered this year. In April, UK Cycling Events, which organises the Wiggle New Forest Spring Sportive and other events in the national park, said it would ban 18 riders from its events for breaking rules including urinating by the roadside rather than in the portable toilets it provides.
The previous month, five junior cyclists participating in a race in Belgium received fines for urinating on the Menin Gate in Ypres, a memorial to British, Irish and Commonwealth casualties of World War One.
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.