French cyclist Julien Bernard fined after stopping to kiss his wife at the Tour de France

French cyclist Julien Bernard has offered a playful apology after he was fined for stopping to kiss his wife on Friday during a stage of the Tour de France.

“I’m sorry for having damaged the image of the sport,” Bernard posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, alongside a grimacing emoji, “but I would pay 200 CHF ($220) every day to relive this moment.”

The individual time trial on Stage 7 of this year’s race traversed 25.3 kilometers (roughly 15.7 miles) of Bernard’s home roads from Nuits-Saint-Georges to Gevrey-Chambertin in Burgundy, and so his family and friends had flocked to the roadside to cheer him on, waving homemade posters that said “Allez JB!” and jumping in the middle of the road.

At one point, Bernard stopped briefly to kiss his wife, who was holding their child in her arms, as others on the roadside converged on them before parting to let Bernard through again.

In his post on X, Bernard included a screenshot of the fine issued by the UCI, cycling’s governing body, which said the French cyclist had engaged in “unseemly or inappropriate behaviour during the race and damage to the image of the sport.”

CNN has reached out to the UCI for comment.

“I’d been waiting for this moment since the route was announced last October,” he told local newspaper Le Bien Public.

“This kind of moment comes once in a lifetime and never mind if they fined me. The fine was explained as for behavior damaging to the image of the sport.

“My wife organized for everyone to come and see me at that point of the race and I wanted to show my gratitude and thank her for that.”

It is relatively common for cyclists, especially French cyclists at a race as big as the Tour de France, to stop and acknowledge their friends and family by the roadside if it is at a more relaxed moment in the race.

Danish cyclist Magnus Cort replied to Bernard’s post on X with a video of himself kissing his wife by the roadside and quipped: “What a joke. I guess I was lucky when they missed me a couple of days ago.”

However, former US cyclist Lance Armstrong seemed less than impressed. “Oh no, he’s straight up stopped,” said Armstrong in an Instagram story he posted. “Oh no, no, no.”

Bernard eventually finished 61st on the stage, 3:11 behind stage winner Remco Evenepoel.

CNN’s Eve Brennan contributed to this report.

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