Spectator who caused huge Tour de France crash arrested

The spectator holding a cardboard sign caused a huge crash at the Tour de France

A woman has been arrested after causing one of the worst crashes in the history of the Tour de France.

During stage 1 on Saturday, the spectator held up a cardboard sign which read ‘Allez Opi Omi’ and stepped out towards the edge of the road in front of the riders.

The sign struck Germany’s Tony Martin who lost his balance and sparked a chain reaction which caused around 50 other riders to crash.

Prosecutors have now opened a criminal inquiry against the spectator for ‘deliberately violating safety regulations and so causing injuries that might prevent someone working for up to three months’.

The offence punishable with up to a year in prison and a fine which is equivalent to just under £13,000.

Following a police hunt, French radio station RTL has confirmed that a woman has been taken into custody in Landerneau, a town in the west of France.

Around 50 riders crashed as a result of the spectator and her sign (Eurosport)

Tour de France is also planning to take legal action against the woman for her ‘unacceptable behaviour’.

‘We are suing this woman who behaved so badly,’ Pierre-Yves Thouault, Tour de France’s deputy director, told Agence France-Presse.

‘We are doing this so that the tiny minority of people who do this don’t spoil the show for everyone.

Tony Martin, who struck the sign, got back on his bike to ride despite his injuries (AP)

Thouault added: ‘This is unacceptable behaviour.

‘There are safety rules to follow. Spectators don’t cross the road, they don’t take selfies. Frankly, her attitude was insane. The show is the riders, not spectators who want to be on TV.

‘The Tour must remain a party but because of the attitude of a very small minority, it is ruined. We can no longer accept this.’

Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins told Eurosport: ‘They’re part and parcel of the spectacle of the Tour de France.

‘And this year, in particular, being able to come back onto the route and watch it. I don’t know how you police it.’

For more stories like this, check our sport page

Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on FacebookTwitter and Instagram


Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.  Learn more