Fan Causes Pileup During Tour de France

Search begins for the spectator, who seems to have fled
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2021 11:20 AM CDT
Fan Causes Pileup During Tour de France
Australian Michael Matthews, wearing the best sprinter's green jersey, rides with the pack during the second stage Sunday.   (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

A fan who reached into the roadway to try to get a sign picked up by TV cameras caused a major pileup at the Tour de France, leaving a tangle of bikes and riders. Tony Martin of Germany had nowhere to go but into the sign, CNN reports. Other riders in turn fell—nearly a full peloton, per ESPN. One injured competitor withdrew from the race. The crash took place Saturday during the first stage, which started in Brest, France. The message on the sign was a greeting to the woman's grandparents. The race's Twitter page later added an appeal to fans: "Don't risk everything for a photo or to get on television!" Officials in France have opened an investigation, per CNN. The race resumed Saturday and continued Sunday.

Bradley Wiggins, who won the 2012 race, said he's not sure what the answer is. Fans are "part and parcel of the spectacle of the Tour de France," he said, adding, "I don't know how you police it." The Tour said that it filed a complaint against the spectator, per CBS Sports, but that the fan had fled. Officials said the fan so far cannot be traced. A journalist appealed against launching a "potentially life-ruining campaign against the foolish young" fan, per the Guardian, noting that crashes have been caused by race employees, a dog, and a drunk. "Let's use this incident to educate fans," James Cavell wrote, "not have a good old social media pile-on in which a young life could be ruined over a momentary act of silliness." (Read more Tour de France stories.)

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