Julien Bernard French Rider Fined for Celebrating with Family During Tour de France TT

UCI-fines-Julien-Bernard-for-stopping-on-home-roads-to-kiss-wife-wave-to-fans-on-perfect-day-in-Tour-de-France-time-trial

The UCI has fined Julien Bernard of Lidl-Trek 200 Swiss Francs after the French rider stopped to embrace his wife and celebrate with his fans during stage 7 of the Tour de France. The incident occurred on the uphill part of the time trial course, just half an hour from Bernard’s home. Friends and family lined the roads, cheering ‘Julien!’ and holding signs that read ‘Allez JB’ as he passed by.

“I was really looking forward to this day. I knew my wife and my friends did something on the climb,” said Bernard. “I started quite fast in the TT, and then I wanted to enjoy every second on this climb with, as you see, my friends and all my family. It was a dream moment for me.”

However, the UCI deemed his celebration as “unseemly or inappropriate behaviour during the race and damage to the image of the sport,” according to the jury’s report.

Repetitions of Bernard’s initials lined the roads as he raced to 61st place on the day. He pushed hard in the opening section to ensure he could pause and savour the moment with his family. “I pushed decent power at the start to have the time to enjoy this climb. I want to say I would go quite conservative on the TT, but today I decided to push more at the start and then, I could have the time on the top,” he said at the finish. “In the end, I saw I was not so far behind. So it was OK. A perfect day for me.”

Despite the fine, Bernard seemed unfazed and would repeat the moment even if it meant being penalised again. “Sorry, but what was that? I love you so much,” he initially tweeted. He later responded sarcastically to the governing body, “And sorry UCI Cycling for having damaged the image of Sport. But I am willing to pay 200CHF every day and relive this moment.”

Lidl-Trek teammate Toms Skujins also expressed confusion over the fine, posting a screenshot of the penalty and captioning it, “UCI doing UCI things.”

This wasn’t an isolated incident. Similar disciplinary actions have been seen before, like when Davide Ballerini was fined on stage 5 for stopping on the roadside to watch teammate Mark Cavendish sprint to a historic victory.

Main photo credit: Getty

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