A fan who took a photo of himself next to an exhausted Marcel Kittel after the German sprinter had won stage three of the Giro d'Italia in Dublin has apologised after his 'selfie' caused a Twitter storm on Monday.
David McCarthy took the photo directly after the finish of the stage on Sunday whilst Kittel was sat on the floor catching his breath. In turn, his deed was snapped by a photographer, and the picture widely distributed via social media.
From the photo it looked as though McCarthy had taken a shot of himself with Kittel after a crash, but this was not the case. Others felt that it was an invasion of privacy, no matter what the situation.
Giro overall contender Cadel Evans branded the act as "more than inconsiderate".
"To Marcel Kittel and all the people I have offended by taking the selfie, I apologise," McCarthy said in a message posted online by rider Nicolas Roche. "I did not think the photo would cause such hate towards me and cause offence."
"I got excited after the finish to see Marcel and wanted a photo and in hindsight looking back I understand the time and place was completely wrong. My sincere apologies, David McCarthy'.
Roche added: "I know David McCarthy, he is a nice kid". McCarthy is a rider on the Nicolas Roche performance team.
Kittel replied to McCarthy via Twitter: "Guess you learned your lesson. So did I when my Grandma found me playing with fireworks next to our barn full with dry hay. Oh and remember: social media can be mean... ;)"
Kittel later announced that he was abandoning the Giro after suffering from a fever overnight.
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