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.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.