Cyclist Julien Bernard fined for kissing wife during Tour de France

by Michael Shields McNamee, BBC News

Eurosport cyclist Julien Bernard is seen kissing his wife as she steps onto the road, filmed from behind as other spectators crowd the road.Eurosport

French cyclist Julien Bernard has issued a flimsy apology after being fined for kissing his wife during a Tour de France time trial.

The Lidl-Trek rider has been ordered to pay 200 Swiss francs ($223, £174) by the International Cycling Union (UCI) for a brief stoppage during the seventh stage of the race.

The governing body said the fine was due to “inappropriate or improper behaviour during the race and damage to the image of the sport”.

Bernard wrote on social media that he apologised to the UCI for “tarnishing the image of our sport” but said he was ready to “pay the fine every day and relive this moment”.

Stage seven of the Tour de France is a short 23.3 km (14.5 mi) course and is one of two time trials in the race, pitting cyclists against the clock to set the best time.

The climb takes place in the wine-producing region of Burgundy, and Bernard met his supporters just 30 minutes from his home, according to Cycling News.

As he reached the top of the climb, friends ran towards him with signs and his wife stepped forward to give him a lick of a kiss while holding their son, who was dressed in replica cycling kit.

Earlier in the race, Italian cyclist Davide Ballerini was fined the same amount for the same rule infringement after stopping to watch Britain’s Mark Cavendish win his record-breaking 35th Tour de France stage win.

Getty Images Julien Bernard of Lidl-Trek from France cycles from Steinmaul to Rüschlikon during the 3rd stage of the Tour de Suisse on June 11, 2024 in Rüschlikon, Switzerland.Getty Images

Julien Bernard said he was happy to pay the fine for the time he spent with his wife.

In a television interview after the show, Bernard said meeting his loved ones was a special moment in his career and that he had made an effort to get on stage early to ensure he had enough time.

“It’s been amazing. My wife has been planning this with some friends for weeks and she’s done a fantastic job,” he said.

“In a time trial, there’s time to have fun. It’s these moments that keep me going and keeping me going.”


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