Wednesday 11 December 2019

Young cyclist apologises after internet furore over Giro 'selfie'

The ‘selfie’ taken by David McCarthy of collapsed Giro d’Italia rider Marcel Kittel
The ‘selfie’ taken by David McCarthy of collapsed Giro d’Italia rider Marcel Kittel

Ralph Riegel

A TALENTED young Irish cyclist who took a controversial 'selfie' with a collapsed Giro d'Italia rider has publicly apologised for the snapshot.

David McCarthy (17) from Fermoy, Co Cork, apologised to the rider involved, Marcel Kittel (26), to his Stephen Roche Development Team (SRDT) colleagues and to anyone else who may have been offended by the image.

The youngster last night vowed that it will never happen again after he said he was chastened by the internet furore over his selfie.

"I am sorry. I just didn't realise it was the wrong time and place," David explained. He issued the apology following a SRDT meeting yesterday where the selfie issue was taken so seriously that the teen's future place in the team was at stake.

The picture went viral on the internet – and sparked criticism for the manner in which the exhausted German rider was snapped minutes after he collapsed following an incredible stage performance.

"We took this very seriously indeed," SRDT co-founder Philip Finnegan told the Irish Independent. "It was in poor taste and the snapshot was certainly taken at the wrong time and in the wrong place.

"What we were most concerned about was that it may have been seen to show disrespect towards the rider.

"David held his hands up, he said sorry and he apologised to all those involved. That is one of the lessons we all try to learn in life – to admit when we have made a mistake," he added.

Nicolas Roche, a talented cyclist and son of Tour de France winner, Stephen, said he respected the way in which the youngster had dealt with the matter. "I know (he) is a nice kid," he said.

David acknowledged that he was totally taken aback by the reaction on social media to his impromptu snap.

"To Marcel and the people I offended by taking the selfie I apologise. I did not think the photo would cause such hate towards me and cause (such) offence," he said.

The German rider has yet to respond to the young Cork cyclist's apology.

Unfortunately for Kittel, his wins in Dublin and Belfast proved in vain as he had to quit the tour before its Italian stages opened due to illness.

Irish Independent

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