Cops Search for Woman Who Caused Tour de France Pileup

Specators will face lawsuit, criminal charge
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2021 12:10 PM CDT
Cops Can't Find Spectator Who Caused Tour de France Crash
Italy's Kristian Sbaragli, left, and France's Bryan Coquard, right, lie on the ground after crashing during the first stage of the Tour de France, Saturday, June 26, 2021.   (Anne-Christine Poujoulat, Pool Photo via AP)

Police in France want to talk to the fan who caused a massive crash at the Tour de France Saturday—but she may have already fled the country. The woman was looking at the camera, not the cyclists, when she stepped out into their path and held out a large sign with a greeting for her grandparents. German cyclist Tony Martin crashed into the sign, causing a pileup that took out most of the peloton, CBS Sports reports. Race organizers plan to sue the woman and police have opened a criminal investigation. Ouest-France reports that the woman, thought to be German, fled the scene and is believed to have flown out of the country. Her sign read "Allez Opi-Omi!"—the French for "go" and German terms of endearment for grandparents.

"We are suing this woman who behaved so badly," Tour deputy director Pierre-Yves Thouault tells AFP. "We are doing this so that the tiny minority of people who do this don't spoil the show for everyone." The crash forced one cyclist to pull out of the Tour completely and another eight were treated for injuries, reports the BBC. Several spectators also were injured. "I saw the lady, I saw the sign but there was no time to react," Martin told reporters. "I still can't understand how people can do things like that." Police in France issued a description of the woman and said she is being investigated for causing "unintentional injuries with incapacity not exceeding three months by manifestly willful violation of an obligation of safety or prudence." (More Tour de France stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.