Tour de France cyclist fined for kissing wife and son, says penalty was worthwhile for ‘dream moment’

Julien Bernard had a dreamy homecoming Friday. During the stage seven time trial of the Tour de France, held in Bernard’s home region of Burgundy, the French cyclist soaked up his local crowd and shared a costly embrace with his wife and son.

For stopping his ride to kiss his family, Bernard was slapped with a fine of 200 Swiss francs ($223) by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) for what the governing body deemed “unseemly or inappropriate behavior during the race and damage to the image of sport.”

The smooch — which drew a rousing ovation from his hundreds of local fans cheering — came in a cinematic moment as Bernard pushed up a steep hill with one arm raised in the air as his friends and family crowded the course, slapping him on the back, waving signs and playing instruments.

In the middle of the pack was his beaming wife carrying their son.

On social media, Bernard took the fine in jest.

“Sorry UCI for having damaged the image of sport,” Bernard wrote on X. “But I am willing to pay 200 (francs) every day and relive this moment.”

Belgium’s Remco Evenepoel eventually won the hilly 23.5 km (14.6 mile) stage.

Bernard’s time of 32:03 was the 61st fastest time of the stage. His Lidl-Trek teammate Giulio Ciccone finished in 31:19 for 41st in the stage.

Another Lidl-Trek teammate, Toms Skujins, responded to Bernard’s fine with similar sarcastic confusion.

“I knew my wife and my friends did something on the climb, and I was looking forward to seeing them,” Bernard said in an interview after the trial, later adding, “I wanted to enjoy everyone second with my friend and family. It was dream moment for me.”

“On a time trial, you have time to enjoy yourself. It’s these moments that keep me going and cycling.”

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(Photo: Dario Belingheri / Getty Images)

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