A poster promoting a Belgian cycling race that was branded as sexist by equality groups has been dropped after protests.
Responding to widespread criticism about the controversial poster released by the organisers of this weekend’s E3 Harelbeke semi-Classic, the UCI has forced those organisers to drop their usage of the image in question
Equality groups had earlier called for the poster, which depicts the hand of a cyclist motioning to grab the bottom of a hostess whose skirt is raised, to be withdrawn and has resulted in some complaints.
The poster is accompanied by the caption “Who will pinch it in Harelbeke?”, a clear reference to Slovakian rider Sagan, who later issued an apology after groping a podium girl at the Tour of Flanders in 2013.
Having finished runner-up to Fabian Cancellara, Sagan mimed patting the podium girl on the backside as she congratulated the E3 winner, before pinching podium girl Maja Leye while on stage in Flanders.
Following the cacophony of complaints, the UCI has now issued a statement making its opposition clear and reporting that the image in question will no longer be used.
“The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) was extremely unhappy with the promotional poster of the 2015 E3 Harelbeke,” it said.
“We have reminded the organiser of its responsibility and the UCI Regulations and they have agreed to take off the poster from all communication platforms.”