DUSSELDORF, Germany (AFP) — Belgian rider Jan Bakelants was forced into a humble apology after making “inappropriate” and sexual remarks about Tour de France hostesses.
The 31-year-old Ag2r – La Mondiale rider, who won a stage at the 2013 Tour, got himself into hot water after giving what he thought was a humorous reply to a question about sexual abstention during the three-week Tour.
After making a reference to pornographic movies, he added in an interview in Wednesday’s Het Laastse Nieuws, “There are also the podium hostesses.”
At the end of each Tour stage, the podium hostesses present the yellow jersey to the overall race leader as well as the other jerseys being contested, before posing for photos on the podium with the jersey holders.
Bakelants, who is married and has a young daughter, further compounded his gaff by adding later that he would pack condoms in his suitcase for the Tour because “you never know where those podium hostesses have been.”
After Tour organizer ASO demanded an apology for the “sexist” remarks, a contrite Bakelants took to Twitter to express his remorse.