A pro cyclist taking part in the Giro d’Italia has been fined by commissaires – for asking a woman out on a date.
LottoNL-Jumbo rider Victor Campenaerts unzipped his skinsuit before the start of the Stage 10 individual time trial on Tuesday to reveal a message that read, ‘Carlien daten?’ – ‘Carlien, a date?’
He also showed the message again as he neared the finish line – though it turns out that its intended recipient, Carlien Cavens (pictured below, centre), wasn’t watching since she was in a work meeting and only learnt of it later when a journalist rang her.
— Carlien Cavens (@Carlien_Cavens) May 16, 2017
Happily, she said ‘yes’ and according to Sporza fancies a meal and perhaps a bike ride – assuming Campenaerts doesn’t want to take some time off riding after the Giro.
But she added: “I certainly do not want to go to the movies. I always fall asleep."
They'll be able to have a beer or three, as well.
— à BLOC Bicycle Beer (@aBLOCBikeBeer) May 17, 2017
Sporza added that the couple have known each other for a while with Campenaerts helping Cavens, a former triathlete, with her swimming.
Campenaerts’ romantic message was met with a frostier reception by the UCI, however, which fined him 100 Swiss Francs.
Commissaire Luc Herpelinck told Sporza: “If he wanted to send a message, that’s fine. But not during the race, and not with his upper body uncovered.
“There’s no place for that in a serious race like the Giro. Cycling must not be used for this reason.”
“It’s better the riders’ take their romance away from the sport,” he added. presumably after a brief pause to suck on a lemon.
“If we ignore it this time, we’re leaving it open to happen another time.”
A Belgian journalist has set up a Go Fund Me page to pay the fine for the rider.
To date, it has raised €31 of the €91 target.
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.