Mentally broken: Star arrested after teen girls prank.
A famous cyclist says he was "mentally broken" when police charged him after an alleged incident with two girls his age.
Mathieu van der Poel, a well-known cyclist, will go to court in Sydney on Tuesday. He was arrested after he allegedly got into a fight with two teenage girls late at night.
The Dutch star was charged with two counts of common assault and taken to a police station just hours before the men's road race at the world championships in Wollongong. His team said on Sunday that this left him "mentally broken."
Reports say that the 27-year-old talked to a group of teens after they kept knocking on his door as a joke.
Christoph Roodhooft, who is in charge of Team Alpecin-Deceuninck, said that Van der Poel, who has won a stage of both the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia, is "broken."
Roodhooft told reporters, "He didn't sleep all night and was also a little bit broken mentally."
"He had high hopes for this day and did everything he could in the last two months after a bad Tour de France. He had found happiness and joy again through cycling, and he was hoping for a good race today.
Belgium's Sporza said they talked to Van der Poel before the game and he said, "It's true, yes."
There was a bit of a fight. It was about loud neighbors, and the rules here are pretty strict.
"I didn't get back to my room until 4:00." (in the morning). That's not good at all. It's a mess, but I can't do anything about it now. I'm trying to make the most of the situation. I went to bed early, and a lot of kids in the hallway outside my room kept knocking on the door.
"After doing it a few times, I was done. I didn't politely ask you to stop. Then the police came and took me away."
He was one of the favorites to win the rainbow jersey, and he started the 267-kilometer race around Wollongong. However, he quit the race an hour in for no clear reason.
But his trip to Australia fell apart after the alleged fight, which is said to have happened at Sydney's Grand Parade Brighton-Le-Sands.
He has said that the claims that he pushed the kids are not true.
The New South Wales Police said in a statement, "At 10:40 p.m. on Saturday, September 24, 2022, a man was at a hotel on The Grand Parade in Brighton-Le-Sands when he allegedly got into a verbal fight with two 13- and 14-year-old girls."
It is also said that the man then pushed both of the teenagers, causing one to fall to the ground and the other to hit her elbow on a wall. When the manager of the hotel heard about what happened, he or she called the police. Soon after, police officers from the St. George Police Area Command came and arrested a 27-year-old man.
"Two counts of common assault were filed against him at Kogarah Police Station. He was given bail with the condition that he show up in court on September 27, 2022.
Roodhooft confirmed that Van der Poel was taken to a police station "to explain what happened."
"A police officer asked him to tell them what happened and sign, and then he was free to go."
The head of the Dutch cycling organization KNWU said that van der Poel shouldn't have tried to "solve" the problem on his own.
According to Sporza, he said, "We're all in a hotel, and there's noise in one room."
"Van der Poel tried to figure it out on his own. I don't know how that should have been different, but it wasn't."
On Tuesday, Van der Poel will go to court in Sutherland.