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Dutch cycling fans say Mathieu van der Poel is victim in ‘knock and run’ assault, Novotel

Furious Dutch fans have threatened to boycott the hotel where a champion cyclist assaulted two teenage girls – and they’ve blamed lax parenting in Australia for blighting their hero’s reputation.

Mathieu van der Poel is cycling royalty in Europe with a legendary grandfather and champion cyclist father.

One angry Dutch man told Daily Mail Australia that van der Poel had been unfairly convicted over the ‘knock and run’ assault, and it was he who had been ‘terrorised’ by kids from an uncivilised country.  

In his home country van der Poel – whose glamorous girlfriend Roxanne Bertels works for Porsche Belgium – is treated like a rock star. 

The most furious attack came from cycling fan Rink Sandt, who said the pursuit of van der Poel was ‘disgraceful and unworthy’ and that Australia would ‘never rise higher than the prison camp you are meant to be’.

‘Australian kids do not get properly raised and it will take centuries before anything good will come from your country,’ he wrote.

‘The overall low self-esteem will not get any better as long as your paper keeps feeding this garbage. No culture, no history.’

The attacks on Australia came in the wake of van der Poel pleading guilty to assaulting two girls who played a game of ‘knock and run’ on his hotel room door last Saturday night as he was resting before competing in a road race.

Video obtained by Daily Mail Australia shows his angry pursuit of screaming girls he grabbed or pushed, injuring one with a carpet burn.

The cyclist was arrested, retired early from his road race the next day, pleaded guilty to two charges of common assault the following day and then fled Australia.

Mathieu van der Poel is cycling royalty in Europe where his late grandfather (above, together) Raymond Poulidor was a national hero affectionately referred to as ‘Poupou’ by an adoring French public

Mathieu (above with his glamorous girlfriend Roxanne Bertels) is the son and grandson of legends in the cycling world and angry fans have defended his actions saying Australia is a 'prison camp' with uncivilised children

Mathieu (above with his glamorous girlfriend Roxanne Bertels) is the son and grandson of legends in the cycling world and angry fans have defended his actions saying Australia is a ‘prison camp’ with uncivilised children

Mathieu's father is Tour de France champion Adri van der Poel (above, left) who has a grand prix race in the Netherlands named after him, which his son has won five times

Mathieu’s father is Tour de France champion Adri van der Poel (above, left) who has a grand prix race in the Netherlands named after him, which his son has won five times

One Dutchman who contacted Daily Mail Australia blamed the whole sorry affair on the way Australians raise children.

He warned that the treatment of van der Poel – who was crowned the Netherlands Sportsman of the Year in 2019, and is generally regarded as a superstar – spelled doom for the hotel in which he assaulted the young girls.

‘In the Netherlands we raise our children in a different way and tell them to respect other people and to behave when you are a guest in a hotel,’ Adrian Kant wrote in an email.

Mr Kant said he did ‘not understand how this misbehaviour’ of the young teenage victims of van der Poel’s assault – in which he lashed out after the girls played a ‘knock and run’ prank at Brighton Le Sands Novotel last weekend – ‘seems to be normal in Australia’.

‘What I, and everyone in the Netherlands, do not understand, that it seems to be accepted in Australia that these terror kids of Mr Amad and his wife are allowed to terrorise a hotel in Sydney.

‘And when you complain about this, the hotel management calls the police and you end up in jail.

‘You can be sure that this Novotel Hotel in Sydney will be banned by Dutchmen for decades.’

In his home country van der Poel - whose glamorous girlfriend Roxanne Bertels works for Porsche Belgium - (above together after his grandfather 'Poupou's 2019 funeral is treated like a rock star in Europe

In his home country van der Poel – whose glamorous girlfriend Roxanne Bertels works for Porsche Belgium – (above together after his grandfather ‘Poupou’s 2019 funeral is treated like a rock star in Europe

After retiring, Raymond Poulidor (above) he worked for yellow jersey sponsor, Credit Lyonnais, and was greeted and feted wherever he went

After retiring, Raymond Poulidor (above) he worked for yellow jersey sponsor, Credit Lyonnais, and was greeted and feted wherever he went

Another Netherlands resident, Casper Duchhart, said the girls’ fathers should ‘teach them some manners’ and that he didn’t ‘like to be annoyed by other children’ and ‘neither do I like my children to annoy other people spending money for their quality time’.

Rick Sandt declared the assault stories about can der Poel would ‘be old news soon and van der Poel will go on winning with a normal preparation before his races’.

He added: ‘Don’t answer this mail unless you’ve got the intelligence to reply in Dutch.’

Mathieu van der Poel’s grandfather Raymond Poulidor, who died in 2019 aged 83, was a much-loved French cyclist affectionately known as ‘Poupou’.

Poulidor never managed to win a yellow jersey in the Tour de France when he competed in the 1960s and 1970s, but that only endeared him to his fellow countrymen.

After retiring, he worked for yellow jersey sponsor, Credit Lyonnais, and was greeted and feted wherever he went.

His funeral in the French town of Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat was a public event, attended by former champion cyclists, and his coffin adorned with a wreath from the French president carried into the church by former Tour de France winners Bernhard Thévenet and Bernard Hinault.

Raymond Poulidor famously never managed to win a yellow jersey in the Tour de France

But competing in the 1960s and 1970s, 'Poupou' was adored by the French public

Raymond Poulidor (left and right) famously never managed to win a yellow jersey in the Tour de France when he competed in the 1960s and 1970s, but that only endeared him to his fellow countrymen

Raymond Poulidor's widow Gisele Poulidor, his grandson Dutch cyclist David van der Poel, and daughter Corinne second right) walk amid te crows out in the French town of Saint-Leonard-de-Noblat

Raymond Poulidor’s widow Gisele Poulidor, his grandson Dutch cyclist David van der Poel, and daughter Corinne second right) walk amid te crows out in the French town of Saint-Leonard-de-Noblat

Afterwards, his widow, his daughter Corinne and her husband Adri van der Poel and their children, including Mathieu, were greeted by adoring crowds outside the church like the royal family.

Poulidor’s daughter Corinne van der Poel spoke and read a eulogy by Mathieu, which concluded ‘Grandpa, you are my champion’.

Corinne married Mathieu’s father, Dutch cyclist Adri van der Poel, who is a yellow jersey winner of the Tour de France, the 1996 World Cyclo-Cross Championships in 1996.

The Grand Prix Adrie van der Poel in the Netherlands named after him was won by his son Mathieu every year between 2015 and 2020, except 2017.

Mathieu won the cyclo-cross world championships in 2015, 2019, 2020, and 2021 and has been also twice a stage winner at the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia.

He has competed at Olympics and for the professional team Alpecin-Deceuninck  and his net worth is estimated at upwards of $64 million.

The 27-year-old was the favourite going into the UCI Road World Championships elite men’s road race in Wollongong south of Sydney, but pulled out just 37km into the gruelling 267km course. 

Angry cycling fans reacted online by sabotaging the Novotel in  Sydney’s southeast,  by leaving scathing Google reviews following the cyclist’s controversial exit. 

The shirtless 184cm cyclist appears to have his foot on the leg of the tiny 14-year-old who cowered in a corner after, dressed only in black briefs, he chased her screaming into the hotel room

The shirtless 184cm cyclist appears to have his foot on the leg of the tiny 14-year-old who cowered in a corner after, dressed only in black briefs, he chased her screaming into the hotel room

Dutch cyclist Mathieu van der Poel (pictured, during the team presentation of the 'Alpecin-Deceuninck' cyclocross team in Belgium) pleaded guilty to two charges of common assault

Dutch cyclist Mathieu van der Poel (pictured, during the team presentation of the ‘Alpecin-Deceuninck’ cyclocross team in Belgium) pleaded guilty to two charges of common assault

Van der Poel pulled out just 37km into the 267km of the men's world road cycling championship just hours after assaulting two girls over a knock and run prank (pictured, Van der Poel riding across the Sea Cliff Bridge during the road race on Sunday)

 Van der Poel pulled out just 37km into the 267km of the men’s world road cycling championship just hours after assaulting two girls over a knock and run prank (pictured, Van der Poel riding across the Sea Cliff Bridge during the road race on Sunday)

‘Children knocking on doors all night. Management only reacted when I took action on those spoilt brats. Whole year of preparation down the drain. Thanks Novotel,’ one reviewer wrote. 

‘At least your hotel has worldwide publicity. Calling the police because paying guest cannot sleep. I trust a refund was offered,’ another review read. 

Another translated review said: ‘Dramatic hotel with no proper manners whatsoever. Letting ear to irritating teenagers and letting a world athlete ruin his preparation like that. One star is still too much.’   

The Dutch athlete was released from police custody at 4am on the morning of the race following his arrest the night before. 

The court heard two young girls were playing 'knock and run' in the Brighton Le Sands Novotel (pictured) when the cyclist pushed the two girls, causing one to fall over

The court heard two young girls were playing ‘knock and run’ in the Brighton Le Sands Novotel (pictured) when the cyclist pushed the two girls, causing one to fall over 

Fans angered by the incident are venting their frustrations by writing scathing google reviews of the hotel (pictured)

Fans angered by the incident are venting their frustrations by writing scathing google reviews of the hotel (pictured)

In one translated review, a fan accused the hotel of letting teenagers ruin a world athlete's preparations (pictured)

In one translated review, a fan accused the hotel of letting teenagers ruin a world athlete’s preparations (pictured)

Van der Poel lashed out at the group of girls who had repeatedly rapped on his room door on the ninth floor of the hotel on Saturday evening, even though his girlfriend, Roxanne Bertels, had asked them to stop. 

The cyclist waited for the girls to knock on the door of Room 930 again, between 10.40pm and 10.50pm, and then opened the door and chased them into the room opposite, according to court documents obtained by Daily Mail Australia. 

A police statement of facts said the 14-year-old ‘ran into a corner and sat down covering her face’ while van der Poel ‘grabbed her by both of her arms, squeezing them and pushing her against a wall while yelling at her’.   

Footage, taken by a 12-year-old girl, showed her 14-year-old sister at 10.40pm screaming and running into her hotel room with an angry van der Poel in pursuit. 

The teen is seen cowering and placing her hands over her face before the athlete corners her and pulls her by the arms until she falls and grazes her elbow. 

Van der Poel, 27, then leaves the girl bleeding on the ground to chase another girl, aged 13, who he pushed against a hotel wall.

That girl’s father, Emad, exclusively showed the video to Daily Mail Australia and supplied a photo of his daughter’s injury showing layers of skin rubbed off in a nasty carpet burn.

Footage exclusively shown to Daily Mail Australia shows a 14-year-old in the hotel corridor moments before she is pursued by an angry Van der Poel (pictured)

The cyclist is seen chasing after the young girl and then pulling her by the arm until she falls over and badly grazes her elbow (right)

Footage exclusively shown to Daily Mail Australia shows a 14-year-old in the hotel corridor moments before she is pursued by an angry Van der Poel (left). The cyclist is seen pulling her by the arm until she fell over and badly grazed her elbow (right)

Emad said the angry cyclist was also ‘yelling at my youngest, the 12-year-old, saying “were you doing this as well?” and she was freaking out. They are very shaken.

‘But they did get in trouble. They are in trouble,’ he said about the ‘knock and run’ prank the girls had engaged in before an enraged van der Poel lashed out at them.

‘He’s got every right to get angry, but not to do what he did.’

Van der Poel was originally due in court on Tuesday but chose to enter guilty pleas on Monday before Magistrate Hugh Donnelly in Sutherland Local Court so that he could fly home.   

He has been ordered to pay $1,500 in fines for two charges of common assault. 

Magistrate Hugh Donnelley agreed the athlete’s performance in the race was ‘impeded by the conduct of these two children’  but said he ‘shouldn’t have taken the matter into his own hands’.

The girl badly injured her elbow, with layers of skin rubbed off in a nasty carpet burn (pictured)

The girl badly injured her elbow, with layers of skin rubbed off in a nasty carpet burn (pictured)

Van der Poel told Belgian website Sporza: ‘I went to bed early and many children in the hallway of my room found it necessary to knock on the door continuously.

‘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.’

His Team Alpecin-Deceuninck boss, Christoph Roodhooft, said the the Dutch star was ‘shattered’ following his withdrawal from the competition.  

‘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.’

Van der Poel lashed out at the girls after they repeatedly rapped on his room door, even though his girlfriend, Roxanne Bertels (pictured), had asked them to stop

Van der Poel lashed out at the girls after they repeatedly rapped on his room door, even though his girlfriend, Roxanne Bertels (pictured), had asked them to stop 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk