Tour de France drops legal case against fan who caused crash

Race organisers had intended to sue the woman

The Tour de France has withdrawn a legal case against a spectator who caused a massive pile-up during the first stage of the race.

It comes after a 30-year-old French woman was arrested on Wednesday at a police station in Landerneau in Brittany, where stage one finished on Saturday. She is still in custody.

The spectator was holding a cardboard sign. She was facing away from the cyclists as they passed, and towards a television camera.

German Tony Martin was sent tumbling when he rode straight into the sign, and a large number of other riders also fell to the ground. It was the worst crash in the history of the event.

Tour director Christian Prudhomme said the organisation was withdrawing its legal complaint against the woman.

"This story has been blown out of proportion but we wish to remind everyone of the safety rules on the race," he said.

"If you come to the Tour, you hold your kid, you hold your pet and don't cross the road carelessly. And above all, you respect the riders - they're the ones worthy of live TV."

The sign held up by the woman read "Allez Opi-Omi", which translates as "Go, grandpa and granny".

The pile-up delayed the stage for five minutes while bikes and bodies were untangled.

Amid the chaos, the woman was seen reeling away in horror before disappearing into the roadside crowd, her sign folded away beneath her arm.

After Saturday's crash, the deputy director of the Tour, Pierre-Yves Thouault, told AFP that the organisers intended to sue the spectator.

On Tuesday, Tour de France riders brought the race to a halt for about a minute one kilometre into its fourth stage in a silent protest for safer racing conditions after numerous crashes.

Updated: July 1st 2021, 1:36 PM
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