Junior cyclist apologises after Giro 'selfie' storm

By Noel Baker

An up-and-coming cyclist has apologised after a ‘selfie’ he took of a prone Giro d’Italia stage winner moments after a sprint finish prompted a storm of criticism.

Corkman David McCarthy, who is with the Nicolas Roche performance team and an aspiring professional cyclist, took the "selfie" featuring himself standing next to Marcel Kittel of the Giant Shimano team, winner of the stage of the Giro d’Italia which finished in Dublin’s Merrion Square last Sunday.

Such was the effort expended in the sprint finish, in which Kittel held off the challenge of Ben Swift from Team Sky and Elia Viviani of Cannondale, Kittel hit tarmac straight after the end of the race from exhaustion.

It was at that point that McCarthy appeared with his smartphone and took the image which ultimately led to a wave of criticism of his actions.

Yesterday morning McCarthy, who began cycling with Fermoy Cycling Club, responded to some of the criticism, tweeting: “kittels team mates have messaged me telling me how funny it was so give me a break it was only a joke with a.. [second tweet] mate so ye guys need to chill see the funny side of it !”

However, Irish star Nicolas Roche did not see the funny side, tweeting alongside a photo of the ‘selfie’ moment: “Not very respectful! And definatly [sic] not funny!”

However, not long afterwards Roche tweeted of McCarthy: “he is a nice kid. He has just send me this post to tweet.”

The post, written in the Notes section of an Iphone, stated: “To marcel kittel and all the people I have offended by taking the selfie I apologise. I did not think the photo would cause such hate towards me and cause offence. I got excited after the finish to see marcel and wanted a photo and in hindsight looking back I understand the time and place was completely wrong. My sincere apologies David McCarthy.”

For his part, Kittel made no mention of the McCarthy selfie on his website, writing after the stage win: “I am very proud of this victory.”

Describing the “crazy sprint final” Kittel said: “The atmosphere is awesome here, the people are crazy for cycling - in a positive way. That is a lot of fun.

“The organisers gave a crate of champagne to me today. If we wanted, we could really get bladdered. But of course we will not do so as we are pros. Nevertheless we are going to click glasses.”

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