Former professional cyclist “Pieter W” is to appear before a judge in the Netherlands on Friday on charges of assaulting and threatening his ex-wife and her brother.
Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported the news on Friday, although only named him as “Pieter W.”.
The alleged crime took place last December, on Boxing Day. The 41-year-old is said to have threatened his ex-wife and her brother with a knife, and was injured in the incident. The brother of his former partner will also appear in court, after W filed a report against him for assault and destruction; he was not injured.
W’s lawyer Arnout Hurenkamp responded to the allegations in De Telegraaf : “I will plead for acquittal. My client suffered permanent injury himself, he broke the jaw left and right in the face. A case of emergency.
“It sure was intense around this family gathering. My client asked those present to leave. However, he was confronted at his own house, a door was even kicked in, and he went on the defensive. He turned away.”
The Dutch former cyclist spent 17 years as a professional, and won two stages of the Giro d’Italia, in 2011 and 2014, and one in the Tour de France, in 2005. He spent his first eight years on his home Rabobank team.
He is not the first Dutchman in the world of cycling to face charges of assault this year; Mathieu van der Poel was arrested the night before the World Championships men’s elite road race, after he was involved in an altercation with two teenage girls, who had been knocking on his hotel room door. He was charged with two counts of common assault and granted conditional bail. He was later fined $1,500AU (£910) and given permission to return to Europe.