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Appalling full story of elite cyclist's attack on two teenage girls

‘Carpet burns’, a screaming tirade and a teenage girl shoved against the wall: Read the appalling full story of Dutch elite cyclist’s attack on hotel guests, 13 and 14 – after they played ‘knock and run’ on his room door

  • Dutch cyclist Mathieu van der Poel withdrew from world championship race
  • He was charged with assaulting two teenage girls Novotel at Brighton Le Sands
  • Ordered to pay $1500 in fines after pleaded guilty to charges in court this week
  • Court heard teens were playing ‘knock and run’ on hotel’s ninth floor beforehand

Shocking details have emerged of how an elite Dutch cyclist chased two girls into their hotel room in Sydney’s south, cornered a 14-year-old, grabbed her by both arms and shoved her against a wall.  

Mathieu van der Poel, 27 – an accomplished cyclist has won a stage of the Tour De France – became enraged at a group of teenage girls’ game of ‘knock and run’ on Saturday evening. 

The incident occurred hours before he competed at the world road cycling championships held in Wollongong.

One of the favourites to take out the men’s road race, van der Poel subsequently dropped out after just 30 of the 267 kilometres the next day.

The group of girls had repeatedly rapped on his room door on the ninth floor of the  Brighton-le-Sands Novotel on Saturday evening, even though his girlfriend, Roxanne Bertels, had asked them to stop.

van der Poel 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’.

Cyclist Mathieu van der Poel (pictured with his girlfriend Roxanne Bertels) pleaded guilty to  assaulting two teens 

The girl ‘suffered a minor carpet burn graze to her right elbow and redness to her left forearm’.

The 13-year-old ‘was in the same room’ while the cyclist was assaulting the other girl. She then ‘attempted to leave the room’.

Van der Poel then walked over and pushed her against a wall ‘using two open hands’ which caused her to fall ‘to the ground’.

The cyclist then went back to his room and police arrived about five minutes later.  van der Poel admitted following the girls and yelling at them.

He was arrested and taken to Kogarah police station, where he refused to speak with legal services but agreed to a recorded interview. 

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

He admitted entering the room and grabbing one of the young females by the arm, and stated he was ‘quite frustrated the girls had continued to make noise and knock on his room, (when) his girlfriend had previously asked them to stop’.

Van der Poel, 27, who has won a stage on the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, was due in court on Tuesday but chose to enter guilty pleas on Monday before Magistrate Hugh Donnelly in Sutherland Local Court. 

He has been ordered to pay $1500 in fines for two charges of common assault. 

NSW Police alleged the athlete physically confronted the teenage girls at the Novotel in Brighton Le Sands on Saturday evening because they were playing a knock-and-run prank on his door while he was trying to get some sleep before the race.

Police alleged Van der Poel pushed the two girls, causing one to fall over and the other to hit a wall suffering a minor graze to her elbow.

Mathieu van der Poel (pictured right with his girlfriend Roxanne Bertels) was due to front Sutherland Local Court in court on charges of assaulting two girls aged 13 and 14

Van der Poel encountered the two young teenage girls who were playing ‘knock and run’ in the Brighton Le Sands Novotel (above) and then pushed them, causing one to fall over

He withdrew from a UCI Road World Championship race – a 266.9km race being held in Wollongong, south of Sydney – following his 4am release from police custody on the morning of the race.

Despite only sleeping for a few hours, Van der Poel started the race, but retired from it at about 11am. 

He was reportedly ‘shattered’ on Monday morning, according to his Team Alpecin-Deceuninck boss, Christoph Roodhooft.

‘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.’

The cyclist told the 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.’

The four-time cyclo-cross world champion and 2013 road race junior world champion was one of the favourites to win the rainbow jersey. 

Van der Poel is ‘mentally shattered’ after pleading guilty to assaulting two young teenage girls and then having to withdraw from the race due to exhaustion after his arrest 

Mathieu van der Poel of Netherlands rides across the Sea Cliff Bridge during the elite men’s road race at the world road cycling championships in Wollongong, Australia, Sunday, September 25, 2022

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