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Pogačar’s forgiveness: No charges for fan pushing incident at Giro

Pogačar's forgiveness: No charges for fan pushing incident at Giro

Tadej Pogačar’s commanding sixth stage victory at the 2024 Giro d’Italia was overshadowed by controversy when a fan grabbed the Maglia Rosa during the final climb up Monte Grappa. As Pogačar surged ahead from the main group, the fan approached him and pushed him from behind, prompting a visibly frustrated reaction from the Slovenian cyclist, who angrily rebuked the fan.

After the incident, many wondered on social media if the overzealous spectator would face criminal charges. Turns out he won’t–all due to the Slovenian himself.

Pogi intervenes

Adam Hansen of the riders union, the CPA, said the Giro winner specifically asked him not to push the matter further.

“Pogačar said ‘please don’t do it, because it’s an old man,” Hansen said in an interview with Velo. “Because Pogačar said no, my personal opinion is that we should follow that. We shouldn’t push charges onto a person when riders don’t want to do it.”

The safety of riders is paramount

Hansen did use the incident as an example for future races and a warning for fans on the roadside.

“The beauty of the sport is that they can be so close, but on the other hand they have to respect that,” he said. “We just have to show a sign to the other spectators, the fans, that they have to leave the cyclists alone, because that is what the cyclists want.”

Fans doing dumb things

There have been other notable incidents of late involving fans getting a little too close to riders, or risking their safety. A woman from Belgium threw a cap at Mathieu van der Poel’s bike during  Paris-Roubaix.

Video footage showed the spectator throw it towards his rear wheel about 42 km before the finish. She was initially anonymous but was identified as someone attending the race in a VIP tent.

In an interview with Het Nieuwsblad she said it was “an unfortunate maneuver, after an afternoon of aperitifs along the cobbles.”

Beer, spit and signs

At the Tour of Flanders, a spectator threw beer at the Dutch rider. During the UCI Cyclocross World Cup in Hulst in December of 2023, there were incidents where spectators threw beer at the world champion. Eventually, Mathieu van der Poel spat in response to the ongoing harassment.

Of course, one of the worst examples was…

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