The rider crashed during the race but finished 13th on the Roubaix velodrome. After the race the 28-year-old spoke to La Voix du Nord, telling the publication that as he raced out of the Cysoing sector of cobbles a spectator sprayed him with what he initially thought was beer.
“I was riding with Alexander Kristoff at the exit of Cysoing,” Sénéchal told La Voix du Nord. “I feel something splash on my arm. I think it’s beer, but I actually smell it’s urine.
“There, I’m totally demoralized … I don’t understand how we can do that.”
- Paris-Roubaix: Dylan van Baarle soloes to victory at record speed
- Yves Lampaert crashes after colliding with spectator in Paris-Roubaix
- Bradley Wiggins: ‘Ineos Grenadiers played it perfectly’ to win Paris-Roubaix
Paris-Roubaix organizer ASO has yet to respond to Sénéchal’s comments, but his team sent a short statement to VeloNews on Wednesday morning regarding the situation.
“We are obvious disgusted to hear that urine was thrown over Florian and while we are delighted to see fans back at races and enjoying themselves, we ask them to respect the athletes taking part,” a team spokesperson said.
Such cases are extremely rare in cycling. In 2015 Chris Froome claimed that urine was thrown over him during the stage to Mende.
Sénéchal was not the only Quick-Step rider to have an incident on the road during Sunday’s epic edition of Paris-Roubaix. Teammate Yves Lampaert crashed out of contention in the closing stages when he collided with a fan standing too close the action.
Lampaert was in the hunt for a podium place but saw his race go up in smoke due to the incident. He eventually finished 10th in the race.
“The problem is that these people are not reasonable. These riders are suffering for 250km, living for weeks for this race, and one stupid guy blows it up. He sleeps well tonight, no worries but for Yves, this is a disaster,” Lefevere told VeloNews.
“What can you do? With my background from 30 to 40 years ago, I think I would have turned back, taken my bike and hit him on the head, but you can’t do that. He didn’t realize what happened, he was concentrating. OK, if he was riding on the pavement then he could be at fault, but this guy was with his phone and then we all saw.”