Maja Leye, the Belgian podium hostess who found herself in the spotlight after Peter Sagan was caught on camera pinching her behind following the Tour of Flanders in April, has received a Christmas present courtesy of the Slovak cyclist’s employers – a brand new Cannondale women’s bike.
Sagan, runner-up in that race to Fabian Cancellara, had apologised for the gesture to the 25-year-old by presenting her with a bunch of flowers at the Brabantse Pijl the following week.
But now Het Nieuwsblad reports that Cannondale delivered the new bike to the offices of the general secretariat of the Flanders Classics, where Leye works.
Following the incident in April, which prompted a debate in Belgium and beyond about whether there should still be podium hostesses in cycling, Leye admitted that she did consider slapping Sagan as he groped her.
“I really thought about it,” she said. “I had to stay professional. If I had reacted, the incident would have escalated. There were millions of TV viewers in front of their screens.”
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.