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Father says Tour de France cyclist must be jailed after attacking daughter in Australian hotel

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In the photo: John with his 13-year-old daughter

In the photo: John with his 13-year-old daughter

An irate father has sued an Australian court for letting a Dutch Tour de France cyclist leave the country with only a fine after he brutally assaulted his 13-year-old daughter and her friends.

Mathieu van der Poel escaped prison after he attacked the girl who was playing ‘knock and run’ with her two friends, who were sisters on a family holiday together, in his hotel room in Sydney.

The cyclist was found guilty of two charges of habitual assault after knocking a girl to the ground and pushing another against a wall, grazing her elbow, at the Novotel in Brighton Le Sands on Saturday.

But yesterday he returned to the Netherlands after paying the $1,500 (£900) fine.

The father of one of the girls, named only John, told Daily Mail Australia the cyclist should be behind bars and his daughter has had nightmares ever since.

He said: ‘If I assaulted children, I would be jailed for a year for not being able to pay bail. Child abuse is a big thing.’

Van der Poel, 27, the children said the joke didn’t stop even after his girlfriend, Roxanne Bertels, asked them.

But instead of warning the hotel staff, Van der Poel decided to chase them into the other room.

Shocking photos obtained exclusively by Daily Mail Australia show the athlete – wearing only a black slip – leaning over a schoolgirl crouched on the floor, covering her face in fear.

When another 13-year-old girl tried to escape from the room, Van der Poel pushed her against a wall with both hands, causing her to fall to the floor.

John is pictured with his three children.  One of his daughters, 13, was attacked by the cyclist

John is pictured with his three children.  One of his daughters, 13, was attacked by the cyclist

John is pictured with his three children. One of his daughters, 13, was attacked by the cyclist

John, 43, said his daughter had nightmares about the attack.

“We went to the hospital on Sunday and I’m taking her to the psychologist because she’s scared,” he said.

“She’s afraid she’s in trouble and done something wrong because some people blame her and me and say it was the girls’ fault and I’m a bad parent, but it was the school holidays – some kids going to bed at nine o’clock at that age?’

He explained that the kids shouldn’t have played the game, but that it didn’t justify Van der Poel’s “incredible” behavior.

Despite reports that the hotel had called the police, John said it was his terrified daughter who alerted authorities.

Novotel declined to comment when contacted Daily Mail Australia.

In the photo: Mathieu van der Poel leaning over a young girl

In the photo: Mathieu van der Poel leaning over a young girl

Mathieu van der Poel wore only underwear during the attack

Mathieu van der Poel wore only underwear during the attack

Pictured: Mathieu van der Poel leaning over a young girl – wearing only a black slip

When he landed at Brussels airport on Tuesday on his way to his home country, Van der Poel told the local press that he had not handled the situation well, but insisted: “I am not an aggressive person.”

“I grabbed one of the girls by the arm, but certainly not with the intention of hurting her,” he said at the airport on Tuesday, as passers-by began filming the interview on their phones.

“Anyone who knows me knows I’ve never hurt anyone… Of course I’m sorry, I made a mistake.

“In retrospect I know I could have acted differently… I should have called the front desk or let someone know, but thought I could solve the problem myself. It went wrong.’

He was in Sydney for the UCI Road World Championship race – a 266.9km race to be held in Wollongong, south of the city – but withdrew because he was 4am on the morning of the race. was released from police custody.

According to court documents, Van der Poel grabbed a 14-year-old by both arms, squeezed them and pushed her against a wall while yelling at her. She has a carpet abrasion on her right elbow and redness on her left forearm.

Van der Poel’s girlfriend Roxanne Bertels (together in the photo). He was fined $1500 for the attack

Upon landing at Brussels airport on Tuesday, Van der Poel (photo at the airport) told the local press that he had not handled the situation properly, but insisted: “I am not an aggressive person.

The 13-year-old “was in the same room” while the cyclist assaulted the other girl. Then she “tried to leave the room.”

Van der Poel then walked over to her and pushed her ‘with two open hands’ against a wall, causing her to fall ‘to the ground’.

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

On Tuesday, the sisters’ father, Emad, provided a photo of his daughter’s injury, which showed layers of skin rubbed off in a nasty burn to the carpet.

Emad said the angry cyclist also “screamed at my youngest, the 12-year-old, saying ‘did you do this too’ and she panicked. They are very shocked.

“But they did get into trouble. They’re in trouble,” he said of the “knock and run” prank the girls had pulled before an enraged Van der Poel lunged at them.

“He has every right to be angry, but not to do what he did.

“They’re little girls, and he’s huge.”

The young girls (pictured) involved in the terrifying incident in Sydney last Saturday

The young girls (pictured) involved in the terrifying incident in Sydney last Saturday

The young girls (pictured) involved in the terrifying incident in Sydney last Saturday

The girls’ father, Emad, (pictured) said his daughters had been “a little naughty” and that the cyclist “had every right to be angry, but not to do what he did”

The girls' father, Emad, showed the video of the incident exclusively to Daily Mail Australia and provided a photo of his daughter's injury, with layers of skin rubbed off in a nasty burn on the carpet (pictured)

The girls' father, Emad, showed the video of the incident exclusively to Daily Mail Australia and provided a photo of his daughter's injury, with layers of skin rubbed off in a nasty burn on the carpet (pictured)

The girls’ father, Emad, showed the video of the incident exclusively to Daily Mail Australia and provided a photo of his daughter’s injury, with layers of skin rubbed off in a nasty burn on the carpet (pictured)

Emad described the “nice weekend in town” his wife, her boyfriend and their four daughters enjoyed at the beach hotel before Van der Poel’s extraordinary attacks.

“My wife is angry that he fled the country as much as what he did,” Emad said.

The cyclists who took part in the final event of the UCI Road World Championships on Sunday were accommodated in hotels in Sydney due to room shortages.

After dinner, the two mothers went to their shared hotel room, while the four young girls next door began to play.

“Look, I was doing things when I was their age, but the youngest had Covid just a few weeks ago and this was their time out,” Emad said.

“They were excited … but then they were a little naughty.”