Woman Behind Spectacular Tour de France Crash to Pay

The 31-year-old was issued a fine
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2021 11:40 AM CDT
Updated Dec 10, 2021 8:40 AM CST
Woman Suspected of Messing With Tour de France Arrested
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 cycling race in France on Saturday.   (Anne-Christine Poujoulat, Pool Photo via AP)

(Newser) Update: The French woman who caused one of the worst crashes in Tour de France history by stepping into the road to hold up a sign will have to pay for that choice. The 31-year-old was ordered to pay a roughly $1,350 fine, as well as what the BBC describes as a "symbolic one euro fine" to France's professional cyclist association. Prosecutors had wanted a four-month suspended sentence. While Tour officials were initially incensed (one rider broke both arms and had to pull out), the BBC notes director Christian Prudhomme gave softened comments in October. "She did something daft, she's no terrorist," he said. The woman reported being on the receiving end of loads of online abuse. Our original story from June 30 follows:

It took a few days, but French police have managed to arrest the spectator who they believe caused one of the worst crashes ever at the Tour de France. The BBC reports the French woman is in custody in Landerneau. With 28 miles to go in the first stage of the race on Saturday, a woman stepped into the road with her back to the oncoming riders holding a sign reading "granny and granddad" in German. AFP reports the 30-year-old turned herself in to police. Cycling News reports she's accused of involuntarily causing injury and could face a fine of about $1,800.

But more may loom for the suspect. Tour de France Deputy Director Pierre-Yves Thouault had earlier said, "We are suing this woman who behaved so badly. We are doing this so that the tiny minority of people who do this do not spoil the show for everyone." As for the impact of the incident on the race, eight riders were said to be treated for injuries and then returned. A ninth rider, Marc Soler, finished the first stage but exited the tour after it was confirmed that he suffered fractures in both arms. (German cyclist Tony Martin crashed into her sign and had this to say.)

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