The Tour de France organisers are demanding an apology from 2013 maillot jaune holder Jan Bakelants (AG2R La Mondiale) after the Belgian made damaging comments about the reputation of the podium hostesses in an interview with Het Laatste Nieuws on Wednesday.
Bakelants, who won the opening stage of the 2013 Tour de France and led the race for two days, began the interview by saying he would miss his "cute little daughter" Julia the most over the three weeks of racing. "But we'll see each other every day via Skype."
He then inexplicably answered an innocent question about when he would call his parents for the first time with "when I run out of porno movies". After insisting that he was joking, he then dug himself a deeper hole when asked if going without sex for three weeks was difficult by first referring back to the pornographic films, and then by adding, "there are also the podium hostesses."
To further his point, when asked what items he would take along to use in his free time he stated, "definitely a packet of condoms. You never know where those podium hostesses are hanging out."
Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme was quick to demand an apology for the disrespectful remarks, telling Reuters, "We will contact his team so that he makes an apology."
The team also saw the interview, and told Reuters that Bakelants' remarks were intended to be humorous, "but in the present case it was very bad taste. We apologize to the organizers and to those who may have been offended by this remark."
A similarly teachable moment on how not to treat podium hostesses came in 2013 when Peter Sagan inappropriately touched one of the women during the podium ceremony of the Tour of Flanders. He later apologised.
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