Mathieu van der Poel is back in Europe after the incident which occurred on the night of Saturday to Sunday in Australia, a few hours before the road race of the world championships in Wollongong. The Dutchman spent much of the night in his cell after an altercation with two teenage girls aged 12 and 14 who kept him awake by making noise in the hallway of his hotel and knocking on his door. The girls’ father reacted to the affair in the Australian press.
“He had every right to be angry, but not to do what he did,” he told Daily Mail Australia. “They are little girls, and he is huge. They are very shocked. The way my eldest daughter runs away in the video, I can see she was scared. The eldest is a bit of a daredevil, but it really shook her up. And he also screamed loudly at my youngest daughter, she was in shock. My wife is furious that he fled the country. I feel sorry for him, but I wouldn’t have done what he did. We went to the hospital on Sunday and I’m taking her to the psychologist because she’s scared. She’s scared she’s in trouble and she’s done something wrong because some people are blaming her and me saying it’s the girls fault and I’m a bad parent but it was School holidays. Which children of this age go to bed at 9 a.m.? »
“Look, when I was young, I used to do that kind of stuff too,” he continues of this prank of knocking on doors and running away. “The youngest had the Covid a few weeks ago and it was their first outing since. They were delighted. But what they did was wrong, and they know it. The father told his daughters that they are “lucky he is famous”, believing that this may have prevented van der Poel from going further.
After pleading guilty, van der Poel was fined Monday one thousand Australian dollars (670 euros) for assaulting one of the girls and another five hundred dollars (335 euros). “I grabbed one of the girls by the arm but certainly not with the intention of hurting her,” he admitted on his return. Of course I’m sorry, I made a mistake. I know I could have acted differently… I should have called reception or let someone know, but I thought I could fix the problem myself. It went wrong. »