A fan whose banner caused several cyclists to crash during Stage 1 of the Tour de France has been arrested.
This year’s Tour de France was initially scheduled to start in Copenhagen before being shifted to Brest owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first stage was a hilly challenge from Brest to Landerneau, with the distance being almost 200km.
With 45 kilometres left, a woman holding a banner stepped onto the road eager to show off a message for her grandparents. However, she failed to notice the cyclists approaching and this caused Tony Martin to lose his balance.
This subsequently led to a crash that brought down about half the Peloton. As many as 21 riders were injured and Germany’s Jasha Sutterlin was forced to pull out of the race.
The woman’s banner read “Allez opi-omi,” which translates to “Come on Grandpa-Grandma,”
She eventually fled the scene with the police looking for her. However, after an investigation, the police were able to track down the lady, who is currently in custody in Landerneau awaiting trial, as claimed by RTL.
According to the Brest prosecutor’s office, she could face a fine of $35,000 and up to two years in prison.
It’s always good to have the fans back for the Tour de France, and any sporting event for that matter, but they should always be careful not to cross a line and do anything that might hamper the proceedings of the race.
What this woman did was immensely irresponsible and caused several riders to sustain injuries, while one had to pull out altogether, ruining months and years of hard training and preparation.
Stage 1 of the Tour de France was eventually won by Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe, who completed the hilly course in 4 hours, 39 minutes and 5 seconds. He is currently fourth in the general classification standings following the end of Stage 5, which was won by Slovenia’s Tadej Pogacar.
Stage 6 is a flat stage from Tours to Chateauroux, which is scheduled to take place today, so it will be interesting to see which rider comes out on top.