Mathieu van der Poel post-Paris Roubaix 2024.

Woman who threw hat at Van der Poel claims she had ‘no intention’ to harm and is a fan of him

The 'Petjesgooister' has handed herself in to the French riders' union.

Jonny Long
by Jonny Long 10.04.2024 Photography by
Gruber Images, Cor Vos, Mathieu van der Poel
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The woman who was televised throwing a hat at Mathieu van der Poel during Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix apparently didn’t intend to harm the champion and is actually a fan of the rider.

This is according to her lawyer, who spoke to Het Nieuwsblad after the woman turned herself in to the French riders’ union (UNCP) who said it would press charges against her.

Referred to as the ‘Petjesgooister’ [hat-thrower] in the Flemish press, the woman’s lawyer says she wants to discuss the incident with the UNCP, who are responsible for informing local authorities about the incident, with CPA President Adam Hansen explaining to GCN that this is the route for taking such cases to court.

“She would like to explain everything, but she does not want to have that conversation in the media,” the lawyer told the Belgian paper.

“We have also already contacted the French riders’ union. That happened this week. We have taken the step. In that message, my client identified herself and clarified that she is the woman seen in the images. She has also indicated that she is open to a conversation and that she would like to provide the union with an explanation about what happened there.”

Well behaved (as far as we know) fans cheer on Mathieu van der Poel from the side of the road on Sunday at Paris-Roubaix.
Well behaved (as far as we know) fans at the side of the road on Sunday.

“We are now waiting for a response. It was evidently never my client’s intention to harm the rider in question. Let alone that she wanted to bring him down,” the lawyer continued, also claiming that the woman is apparently a fan of Van der Poel.

“No sane person would do something like that, right? My client prefers to keep the explanation for the discussion with the riders’ association,” again adding that the discussion would not be held in the media.

Van der Poel was unaware of the incident as he rode past en route to victory, and has already had to deal with booing and allegedly urine-throwing fans this past cyclocross season (and by deal with, he did spit at them) as well as having beer thrown at him at the recent Tour of Flanders, with that particular perpetrator apparently identified by authorities too.

Meanwhile, this video emerged of a Movistar van confronting rowdy spectators at the Roubaix roadside on Sunday, while Les Amis de Paris-Roubaix lamented the rubbish left at the roadside and stolen cobblestones from the Carrefour de l’Arbre sector.

How, you might be wondering, is Van der Poel dealing with not only closing out a Holy Week double, but the chaos and controversy that often follows him at the biggest races?

The answer is he went out for a round of golf on Monday morning.

Mathieu van der Poel playing golf the Monday morning after Paris-Roubaix.

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