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Patrick Lefevere's son in court for flying helicopter above Paris-Roubaix without permission

Joe Robinson
10 Jun 2019

Lawyer says incident happened as son was only 'obyeing his father' to pick him up near Roubaix

Have you heard the one about Patrick Levefere's son, Paris-Roubaix and a rented helicopter that landed him in court? Some stories seem too 'pro cycling' to be true and swiftly joining that list is the report that Deceuninck-Quickstep team boss Patrick Lefevere's son stood in a French court accused of flying a rented helicopter over Paris-Roubaix without air control permission.

As reported by French local newspaper La Voix du Nord, 22-year-old Thomas Lefevere appeared in the dock after taking and piloting a rented helicopter from Kortrijk in Belgium and flying it above the Roubaix race route to collect his father in Bourghelles, near the race finish.

The incident is said to have happened at the end of the 2018 edition of the race.

Standing in court on 6th June, Lefevere-the-younger is accused of flying the helicopter across air space solely reserved for official race and police helicopters without informing French air traffic control.

Lefevere denies all wrongdoing, telling the court that he remained a substantial distance away from the race and he was unable to inform authorities as he 'didn't know the radio frequencies'.

His lawyer also provided a statement, pinning the entire incident on Thomas simply obeying the wishes of his father Patrick.

'He made the mistake of obeying his father and he didn’t fly like helicopters during the Vietnam war.'

Lefevere senior also came to the defence of his son, telling press last December that his son never flew close to the race.

The court case is expected to conclude on 20th June.