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    Women's Cycling Race Says Sorry After Winners Surrounded By Bikini Models

    The incident occurred after the Antwerp-to-Nijlen stage of the Flanders Diamond Tour in Belgium.

    The organisers of a cycling competition have apologised after the winners of a women’s race were pictured surrounded by models in bikinis.

    This is the podium of today's Flanders Diamond Tour, a UCI 1.1 women's race. What an utter disgrace @LottoCyclingCup!

    The incident occurred following the Antwerp-to-Nijlen stage of the Flanders Diamond Tour in Belgium – the penultimate stage of the Lotto Cycling Cup.

    Those in charge of the competition responded with an apology, but said they had not been in charge of the podium ceremony, the BBC reported.

    Instead, they blamed local organisers for the presence of the women in bikinis.

    We as @LottoCyclingCup . want to apologize for the outrageous show o/t LOCAL organisation, we find it also inappropriate @marijnfietst 1/2

    We as @LottoCyclingCup are not responsible for this show. and let us look to the nice victory of @JolienDhoore @WiggleHonda @marijnfietst

    This prompted journalist Marijn de Vries to ask why no one was overseeing the event.

    @LottoCyclingCup It's really good you apologise, but... was there no one of your organisation present at the race who could stop this?

    The models were apparently recruited from a company called Hostessen Service No Limit, which also provides striptease acts, the BBC said.

    The company's manager gave his name as Gerrid and told the broadcaster: "I don't understand what the problem is."

    The BBC reported that he laughed off the controversy and said: "Sometimes during the race, women race with their shirts open."

    Some on Twitter have poked fun at the podium ceremony.

    which one is more ridiculous? #womenscycling

    Union Cycliste Internationale, world cycling's governing body, has investigated the incident and received an apology from the organisers, the BBC reported.

    The stage was won by Wiggle Honda rider Jolien d'Hoore.

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