Duesseldorf - Tour de France rider Jan Bakelants has apologized for "inappropriate" comments about female hostesses at the race's daily award ceremonies, saying he was trying to be funny.
Belgian media quoted the AG2R La Mondiale cyclist from Belgium as saying in an interview that he packed condoms for the race because "you never know where those podium hostesses have been hanging out."
It also quoted him as saying that three weeks without sex on the Tour wasn't difficult because "there's always the podium misses."
Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme demanded an apology.
Bakelants obliged on Thursday, tweeting: "My sincerest apologies to all those offended by my words in a so called humouristic itw. My words have been inappropriate."