A cycling fan has penned a grovelling apology after provoking outrage with this 'selfie'.
David McCarthy angered the world of cycling after snapping himself with Marcel Kittel seconds after the German star collapsed in exhaustion during the Giro d’Italia.
Kittel had just won back-to-back stages in Ireland, where the 2014 Giro started. His second stage win was an incredible feat given he had lost most of his team-mates in Dublin, and it is easy to see why he was so tired.
But, sensing an opportunity to get a moment with his hero, McCarthy exploited the prone Kittel’s state to pose for this snap.
McCarthy should know better - he is a keen junior cyclist himself!
Ultimately that stage 3 win was Kittel’s last act at the Giro – he developed a fever during Monday’s rest day and did not take part in stage 4, as the race moved to Italy.
Aussie star Cadel Evans called the photo "more than inconsiderate", although it must be said that claims Kittel had crashed out and was injured were similarly unfair on McCarthy.
Fans were somewhat more scathing, as you can see in the twitter thread below the official Giro post:
— Giro d'Italia (@giroditalia) May 13, 2014
McCarthy realised he had overstepped the mark, and apologised in a note, which Irish cyclist Nicholas Roche published on Twitter before adding that he knew the fan, calling him a "nice kid".
Roche would know - he trains with the youngster!
"To Marcel Kittel and all the people I have offended by taking the selfie, I apologise," McCarthy said. "I did not think the photo would cause such hate towards me and cause offence."
Kittel accepted the apology, and made light of the situation by joking about an error he made in his youth:
"I guess you learned your lesson. So did I when my Grandma found me playing with fireworks next to our barn full with dry hay," he added in a tweet to McCarthy.
So all friends again. But a lesson should be learned - think before you snap!
- Sports & Recreation
- Marcel Kittel