Lefevere's son facing prosecution for flying helicopter over Paris-Roubaix

22-year-old claims he didn't know authorisation was needed

Patrick Lefevere's son is facing prosecution for flying a helicopter over Paris-Roubaix without authorisation.

According to La Voix du Nord, the French regional newspaper that covers the Nord department, the Quick-Step team manager's son, Thomas, flew the helicopter over the border from Belgium during the race on April 9.

After landing in Bourghelles, close to cobblestone sectors number six and seven in the last 30km of this year's race, the 22-year-old is said to have picked up two passengers before flying above the race for an hour and a half. 

The journey was not authorised, given that the only aircraft permitted above Paris-Roubaix are those of host broadcaster France Télévisions, race organiser ASO, and the French police. According to the newspaper, radio alerts from those other helicopters went unanswered.

"My client was not aware that he needed a flight plan," Thomas Lefevere's lawyer, Christophe Hareng, told La Voix du Nord. "He enquired about it and someone responded in the negative."

Patrick Lefevere took to social media on Sunday to address the story. "Correction," he said. "We did not fly above the riders at any time - far from it."

Thomas Lefevere now risks losing his pilot's licence. The case will be judged in Lille on June 6. 

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