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Belgian Cycling Team Prohibits Riders from Having Beards

The Belgian Pro Continental cycling team, Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise, has adopted a new regulation for its riders, which prohibits then from having a beard.

Team director and former cycling great, Walter Planckaert, told the Belgian newspaper, Het Nieuwsblad, that he was banning riders from growing beards as he looked to support “the elegance of cycling and improve the hygiene of the riders.”

“We are a cycling team, with riders, not motocross riders or rugby players,” Planckaert said. “The snot and the leftover food in the beard of a rider in the middle of the race is dirty.”

Planckaert insists that any rider planning to grow a beard and maintain it in the long term will have no place with his team, although he says he’ll let it slide if riders can’t bring themselves to stand in front of the mirror for five minutes to shave in the midst of a hard Classics season.

Hmm, makes us wonder if Planckaert isn’t taking advice from former NLF great Joe Namath.

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