Van der Poel pleads guilty to assault charge on eve of World Championships road race

Mathieu van der Poel has pleaded guilty to the common assault of two teenage girls in Sydney on the eve of the UCI Road World Championships finale.

The Alpecin-Deceuninck rider was charged on two counts after an altercation with the pair, aged 13 and 14, whom he alleges to have been knocking on his hotel room door.

He was further fined 1,500 AUD (£909), though he has been allowed to leave the country following the return of his passport.

Van der Poel, who was taken into custody by New South Wales Police, intends to appeal against the conviction, according to his lawyer Michael Bowe.

"We went through the relevant events that occurred, he was arrested by police, was interviewed by police and said certain things to the police," he told Reuters.

"Mathieu agreed with some of those allegations. On discussing it was agreed he should plead guilty."

Belgium's Remco Evenepoel went on to win th World Championship on Sunday. Van der Poel, among the pre-race favourites, withdrew with 230 kilometres to go.