French police arrest female spectator over Tour de France crash

Dozens of cyclists crashed during the opening stage of this year’s race when a spectator held up a sign

A woman has been arrested over a mass pile-up during the Tour de France. AP

A Tour de France spectator sought in connection with a massive pile-up during the first stage of the race has been arrested after presenting herself at a police station.

The 30-year-old French national held a sign for TV cameras in front of the oncoming peloton before the worst crash in the history of the event occurred.

The collision happened during its opening stage on Saturday, with 40 kilometres still to go.

She held up a large cardboard sign carrying a message to her family at the roadside.

“The woman has been formally identified and she was taken into custody a few minutes ago,” a police source told AFP.

She was arrested in Landerneau, in Brittany, north-west France, French media reported.

A Tour de France spectator has been arrested in relation to the worst crash in the history of the event. Gendarmerie du Finistere

At the time of the incident, the woman appeared to look straight at the television motorbike cameras with her back turned away from the riders.

German rider Tony Martin rode into the sign, crashing and creating a domino effect in which dozens of cyclists hit the pavement.

Tour organisers warned fans to “respect the safety of the riders”.

“We’re glad to have the public on the side of the road,” a tweet said.

“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!”

Updated: June 30, 2021, 3:23 PM