Tour de France teams throw punches at each other over alleged beer consumption on day off

The manager of the Dutch cycling team Jumbo-Visma says he saw members of a French team drinking «big beers» on the second rest day of the Tour de France.

Jumbo Visma manager Richard Plugge, whose rider Jonas Vingegaard leads the event, criticized the Groupama-FDJ riders for not taking the event seriously.

«We were with a French team at our hotel on the rest day. We got to see the riders drinking big beers,» Plugge said, via ESPN. «Alcohol is poison, and when you are tired [and you drink]it makes you feel more tired.»

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(L-R) Felix Gall of Austria and Ag2R Citroen Team, Jonas Vingegaard of Denmark and Team Jumbo-Visma and Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia and UAE Team Emirates during stage 20 of the 110 Tour de France 2023 July 22, 2023, in Le Markstein, France. (Etienne Garnier/Pool/Getty Images)

Plugge added that Vingegaard’s success was due to his attention to «detail».

Groupama-FDJ coach Marc Madiot did not react pleasantly.

«Who does he think he is? Frankly, this is an exceptionally vile attack on his part,» Madiot said. «Let him keep his mouth shut. I don’t intend to see him. I don’t care about him. I’m not going to see him. I’m angry. It’s pathetic. I don’t watch what he puts in his riders’ bowls.

Tour de France

Giulio Ciccone of Italy of Lidl-Trek, Krists Neilands of Latvia of Israel and Premier Tech and Pierre Latour of France of Total Energies riding during stage 20 of the 110 Tour de France 2023 July 22, 2023, in Le Markstein, France. (Joan Cros Garcia/Corbis/Getty Images)

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«How can anyone dare to say something like that?» Madiot added, saying the claims were not true. «They weren’t at our dinner table. Other team members have had a beer. But the riders were in the Perrier water.»

Madiot went on to criticize Plugge for his feelings that Madiot’s team were not taking the event seriously.

«What is this comment referring to? That our riders are not serious, that they don’t train? I would like to point out that at the TT the next day, I told our riders to do everything possible. Our eight riders were all in the top 80. And the next day I had four riders at the break, so you can shut your mouth,» Madiot said. “People have to stop saying whatever they want. It’s wrong, wrong.

Marc Madiot

Groupama-FDJ team manager Marc Madiot attends the presentation of the 2023 FDJ Groupama team in Villepinte, on the outskirts of Paris, on December 9, 2022. (Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/AFP)

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«I don’t give a damn what he says,» Madiot continued. «I’m not going to stoop to the point of going to see him.»

Vingegaard is looking for his second consecutive Tour de France victory.