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Jan Bakelants apologises for podium hostess comments

AG2R-La Mondiale rider, a former wearer of Tour de France yellow jersey, says remarks were "inappropriate"...

AG2R-La Mondiale rider Jan Bakelants has apologised for "inappropriate" remarks he made about Tour de France podium hostesses in an interview with Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws, but says they were made in a light-hearted way.

As we reported yesterday, the 31-year-old, who wore the yellow jersey of Tour de France leader after winning Stage 2 of the 2013 race on Corsica, was asked what he planned to take along for his free moments during this year's race.

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In reply, he said: “A packet of condoms, for sure. You never know where those podiummissen [podium hostesses] hang out!”

His comments led to Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme asking that the Belgian rider say sorry. 

He said: "We will contact his team so that he makes an apology.” 

Prior to Bakelants excusing himself on Twitter this morning, his AG2R-La Mondiale team told Reuters: "We have seen this interview and the answers of Jan Bakelants, who certainly wanted to be humorous, but in the present case it was very bad taste.

"We apologise to the organisers and to those who may have been offended by this remark.”

Simon joined 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.

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