Jan Bakelants has apologised for his derogatory remarks against women who hand out prizes after races. The Tour de France winner in 2013 apologised in a Tweet on Thursday saying that his words have been inappropriate.
Bakelants was quoted by Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws saying that he would bring with him a “pack of condoms, because you never know where those podium chicks have been hanging out.” He was also quoted as saying that three weeks without sex on the Tour wasn’t difficult because ‘there’s always the podium misses.’
Tour de France organisers contacted Jan Bakelants’s team, demanding an apology. The 31-yar-old apologised in a post on Twitter, where he wrote, “My sincerest apologies to all those offended by my words in a so-called humouristic itw. My words have been inappropriate.”
My sincerest apologies to all those offended by my words in a so called humouristic itw. My words have been inappropriate.
— Jan Bakelants (@Jan_Bakelants) 29 June 2017
“We have seen this interview and the answers of Jan Bakelants, who certainly wanted to be humorous, but in the present case it was very bad taste. We apologise to the organisers and to those who may have been offended by this remark,” AG2R-La Mondiale told Reuters.
Tour hostesses present flowers and prizes to the winning riders for leading the race or a particular category of the race. Two tour hostesses also flank the winners on the podium while they are photographed kissing on the cheek.