French cyclist’s emotional stop for his family sparks debate during the Tour de France

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Julien Bernard’s Tour de France journey took a heartwarming turn on Friday, but it came with a surprising price tag. Racing through his home turf in Burgundy during the stage seven time trial, Bernard veered off course for a quick embrace with his cheering wife and son.

The touching moment, met with enthusiastic roars from the crowd, landed Bernard a 200 Swiss franc ($223) fine from the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) for “unsportsmanlike conduct.” The governing body’s decision sparked debate online, with some questioning how a display of family support could tarnish the sport’s image.

“It was a dream moment,” Bernard said in a post-race interview. “Seeing the faces of loved ones cheering me on, I just had to share it with them for a second.”

Social media echoed Bernard’s sentiment. Teammates and fans alike voiced amusement at the UCI’s penalty, with some jokingly suggesting Bernard got the better end of the deal.

While the fine may have put a damper on the moment, Bernard’s emotional connection with his family undeniably fueled his performance. The French cyclist, despite the time trial format, reveled in the hometown support, proving that sometimes, the greatest victories lie beyond the finish line.

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