Dutch cyclist Mathieu van der Poel has admitted to assaulting two teenage girls who reportedly knocked on his door as a prank over the weekend.
The 27-year-old pleaded guilty to assaulting two teenage girls, aged 13 and 14, at the Grand Parade hotel in Sydney’s Brighton-Le-Sands on Saturday, 24 September.
Police alleged in a statement van der Poel became involved in a verbal altercation with the girls after they knocked on his door at around 10:30pm.
It is alleged he then pushed both of the girls, causing one to fall to the ground and the other to sustain a minor graze on her elbow from scraping against a wall.
Hotel management was notified of the incident and called police, who arrested van der Poel.
In the wake of the incident, van der Poel sensationally withdrew from a World Championship road race being held in Wollongong, just one hour into the event, despite being widely considered the favourite to win.
Despite being due to appear in court on Tuesday, van der Poel chose to enter guilty pleas on Monday before Magistrate Hugh Donnelly in Sutherland Local Court.
He was ordered to pay $1500 in fines.
“I went to bed early and many children in the hallway of my room found it necessary to knock on the door continuously,” van der poel told Belgian website Sporza.
“After a few times, I was done with it. I didn‘t ask so nicely to stop. Then the police were called and I was taken.
“I wasn‘t back in my room until 4 o’clock. That’s certainly not ideal. It’s a disaster, but I can’t change anything anymore.”
Team Alpecin-Deceuninck boss Christoph Roodhooft told reporters van der poel was mentally shattered following the ordeal.
“He didn‘t sleep all night and was mentally a bit broken as well,” Roodhooft told reporters.
“He was expecting a lot of this day (race) and did all he could in the last two months after his bad Tour de France.
“He had found joy and happiness again in cycling and was hoping to have a nice race today.”