Cyclists urinate on Menin Gate

Five young cyclists have been fined for urinating on the Menin Gate in the West Flemish town of Ieper. The Menin Gate is one of the most well-known monuments commemorating British, Irish and Commonwealth soldiers that were killed during World War I.

The youngsters were taking part in the André Noyelle Grand Prix that formed the prelude to the Kattekoers, a cycle race between Ghent (East Flanders) and Ieper.

The man in charge of organising the race Bart Vannieuwenhuyze is not pleased with the cyclists’ action. “We briefed the team leaders clearly that urinating on the Menin Gate would not be tolerated”, Mr Vannieuwenhuyze said in an interview with the daily ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’.

The Menin Gate is a British monument and is the property of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

"This time we were given special permission to start our race at this symbolic spot as it is 100 years since the beginning of the Great War. We can’t let this lie, as we would like to start the race at the Menin Gate again next year”, Mr Vannieuwenhuyze added. All five cyclists involved will be given a fine.