Sunday, July 21

French cyclist’s emotional stage for his family sparks debate during Tour de France

Julien Bernard’s Tour de France journey took an emotional turn on Friday, but it came at a surprising price. Riding on his home turf of Burgundy during the stage seven time trial, Bernard veered off the course for a quick embrace with his cheering wife and son.

The touching moment, greeted with cheers from the crowd, earned Bernard a 200 Swiss franc ($223) fine from the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) for “unsporting conduct.” The governing body’s decision sparked a debate online, with some questioning how a show of family support could tarnish the image of the sport.

“It was a dream moment,” Bernard said in a post-race interview. “Seeing the faces of my loved ones cheering me on, I had to share it with them for a second.”

Social media echoed Bernard’s sentiment. Teammates and fans expressed amusement at the UCI penalty, with some jokingly suggesting Bernard had the upper hand.

While the fine may have dampened the moment, Bernard’s emotional connection to his family undeniably fueled his performance. The French rider, despite the time trial format, reveled in the support of his hometown, proving that sometimes the greatest victories lie beyond the finish line.