French police hunt Tour de France spectator who caused major crash with sign

27 June 2021, 10:01 | Updated: 27 June 2021, 13:26

Cyclists were left battered and bruised by a major crashed caused by a fan's sign
Cyclists were left battered and bruised by a major crashed caused by a fan's sign. Picture: PA Images
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

French Police are hunting a woman who caused over a dozen cyclists to crash at the Tour de France after leaning into the road with a cardboard sign.

The smiling fan held her sign out for the TV cameras, knocking over one cyclist and triggering a domino effect which led to a huge number of riders falling onto the road and blocking it entirely.

She fled to scene before police arrived to investigate and detectives have warned she could legal action under "unintentional attacks" laws in the country.

A Gendarmerie du Finistère spokesperson said: "The spectator who caused this accident left the scene before the arrival of the investigators."Everything is being done to try and find her."She was wearing glasses and dressed in blue jeans, a red and white striped sweater, and a waxed yellow jacket."

Most of the Peloton team were wiped out when Jumbo-Visma's Tony Martin struck the sign and hit the deck, causing the pile-up.

The road was almost entirely blocked by stricken riders and broken bikes - with Pogacar and Martin's team-mate Roglic among those caught up.

Tour de France organisers have also confirmed plans to sue the woman over the incident.

Deputy race director Pierre-Yves Thouault said: "We are suing this woman who behaved so badly. We are doing this so that the tiny minority of people who do this don't spoil the show for everyone."

Tour de France organisers have also confirmed plans to sue the woman over the incident.

Deputy race director Pierre-Yves Thouault said: "We are suing this woman who behaved so badly. We are doing this so that the tiny minority of people who do this don't spoil the show for everyone."

Moments after the incident, organisers tweeted: "We're glad to have the public on the side of the road on the #TDF2021.

"But for the Tour to be a success, respect the safety of the riders! Don't risk everything for a photo or to get on television!"

Three riders - Jasha Sutterlin, Cyril Lemoine and Ignatas Konovalovas - failed to finish while others faced an uncomfortable night's sleep as they nurse injuries.

Referring to the people the fan named on her sign, Belgian rider Jasper Stuyven said: "I hope Omi & Opi are proud of you.

"On a serious note though; great to see still many spectators are loving our sport and cheering for us, but please, stay on the side of the road, not on the road!"

It took 25km before the injured Peloton team were able to fully regroup but the pack were soon after ripped apart again by a high-speed downhill incident.

Four-time Tour winner Chris Froome, who has put in months of work to return to the race following his devastating crash in the summer of 2019, was among the worst-affected and struggled to get back on his feet and back into the race, finishing over 14 minutes down.

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