Remco Evenepoel has been banned from driving for 21 days after being caught driving at 125km/h (almost 80mph) on a road where the speed limit is 70kp/h.
The Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl rider will also have to pay a fine of €400 and retake his theory test because the offence – in November 2020 – was committed within two years of him securing his driving licence, reports Sporza.
Evenepoel’s lawyer did not dispute that his client had been speeding, but attributed his actions to a youthful error.
Currently, Evenepoel is in second place overall at Tirreno-Adriatico, 11 seconds behind Filippo Ganna of Ineos Grenadiers – the only rider to go faster than him (on the bike, this time) in Tuesday’s opening individual time trial.
News of the punishment handed down to Evenepoel comes a fortnight after UAE Team Emirates rider Matteo Trentin called on fellow pro cyclists to become more involved in campaigning for safer roads for people on bikes.
+ @BenjiNaesen on
@LanterneRougeCP for pointing out story about Evenepoel facing a 21 day driving ban after caught speeding 125km/h in a 70km/h zone. After Trentin stressing the dangers riders face from cars should bigger story.
— MWCC (@midweekcycling) March 9, 2022
Responding to Chris Froome’s suggestion following Egan Bernal’s crash in Colombia that training on time trial bikes on roads should be banned on safety grounds, Trentin told Cyclingnews.com: “Of course, the point of Chris of training on the road with the TT bike is correct, but I would add that it's not a TT bike problem; the problem is the traffic, the problem is the amount of people in cars today.
“Actually, even the small roads in the countryside can be dangerous, but it's not because you have a TT bike; it's because you have a bike.
“You're not protected from crashing into a car, and people are getting more and more anxious to pass a bike for basically no reason.
“It's actually a problem of how people are thinking sitting in a car, or maybe also sometimes how cyclists are thinking sitting on a bike. It has to be nicer. Sharing the roads has to be nicer than it is now.”
While underlining that pro riders only make up a tiny fraction of those who get around by bike, he said that members of the peloton have a responsibility to “be more involved in spreading the message to the world, even in the races — something we don't do for the moment. It's something like when the races become a breakthrough problem in the sport.
“Every sport sends a message. For the future of cycling, which parents are going to have their kids at 12 or 13 going on the road? I think nobody. If you want to have riders in 20 years’ time you need to solve this problem, you need to address this problem,” he added.
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.