SHEFFIELD, England (VN) —Brian Holm tucked into a car with the window up at the beginning of the Tour de France in Leeds, a curved pane of glass between him and the noise of the race.
He was acquitted of an indecent-exposure charge regarding a minor on the Thursday before the race began, and Omega had him directing at the sport’s zenith days later.
Holm, 51, is a former Danish professional rider and current sport director with Omega Pharma-Quick Step. He was charged after a friend of his daughter’s, 7 years old, claimed Holm had licked her ear and removed her underwear after he had been drinking, according to media reports.
The court ultimately found that, though the girl was “terrified,” there was not sufficient evidence to convict Holm, according to Danish paper BT. Police initially charged Holm on May 15.
For Omega’s manager, Patrick Lefevere, the decision to bring Holm to play a part on the sport’s grandest stage didn’t appear to be in question. Holm was with the team at the Critérium du Dauphiné, a Tour tune-up, and was in plain sight on the Tour’s first day.
“I didn’t change my mind from the first day until the day before yesterday,” Lefevere told VeloNews Sunday morning. “For me, nobody is guilty until the moment the opposite is proved. There are too many people who are already hanged innocent.”
The Belgian team manager said the team supported Holm, long thought to have a thoughtful way in dealing with electric sprinter Mark Cavendish, regardless of the charges.
“It was a long, hard moment for him, but the whole team was behind him. … I hope he can forget as soon as possible this case,” Lefevere said. “Unfortunately for him there will always be people who will have doubts.”
Holm admitted to being drunk the evening of the reported incident.