One of the many fallen Tour de France cyclists has spoken out in dismay at the event which occurred on Saturday, June 26, as the riders were making their journey from Brest to Landerneau.
A spectator from the crowd disrupted the entire route of cyclists by holding a sign to the camera reading ‘Allez Opi Omi’ (Go Grandma Grandpa) which struck a rider, causing him and consequently many others, to crash to the ground.
Marc Soler, the 27-year old cyclist from Spain, sustained some of the worst injuries from the crash; a fractured radius (left and right) and a fractured ulna.
He finished the first stage in last place and was then unable to continue the race due to his injuries. He has since gone on to demand legal action from the catastrophe, telling La Vanguardia newspaper, as per Cycling News: “I don’t know what to do, I’m thinking of taking the spectator to court, because that’s an entire Tour canned and I feel very angry."
Soler’s Tour de France was a chance for him to re-announce himself on the biggest stage, with the rider having abandoned the Giro d’Italia in the 12th stage due to complications from a fall.
He added: "The Giro was really frustrating because it was a race I had prepared for over a long time and I had a great opportunity. But the Tour is even worse, because it wasn’t just a race incident, it was because of a spectator who obviously doesn’t like cycling. All that preparation has gone into the bin."
It is evident that the psychological effects of this crash will live with the cyclists involved. The traumatising event now places added pressure on their careers when the opportunity to showcase their talents to the world, in possibly the biggest and most crucial race, has been delayed for the foreseeable future.
He added: "The fall happened at a point in the race where the road narrowed and we were trying to be well-placed, we were near the front and then I saw all the Jumbo-Visma riders going down and [Mike] Teunissen crashed right in front of me. I went flying, somersaulted and landed hard on my hands. They both hurt, and so did my face where my glasses had broken and my shoulder too. I tried to get up but I couldn’t, I didn’t have any strength in my arms."
Other severe injuries from the crash include Cyril Lemoine, who suffered a punctured lung, head wound and four broken ribs and Ignatas Konovalovas, who had to be rushed to hospital following the crash with head trauma.
Hopefully the cyclists can recover quickly and come back stronger from this unforeseen and major setback, and that with seeing the distress of the disaster caused, no spectator would ever act similarly.News Now - Sport News