TOUR DE FRANCE

Tour de France withdraws lawsuit against spectator who caused mass crash

The aftermath of the crash, during the opening stage of the Tour de France from Brest to Landerneau, on 26 June 26, 2021.
The aftermath of the crash, during the opening stage of the Tour de France from Brest to Landerneau, on 26 June 26, 2021. Pool via REUTERS - ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT

Tour de France organisers have withdrawn their complaint against a spectator who caused a spectacular crash during the opening stage of the race in Brittany.

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Sports newspaper L’Equipe said the decision, announced Thursday, was taken "in the interests of appeasement" in the face of the "media hype" following the incident.

“This story has been blown out of proportion but we wish to remind everyone of the safety rules on the race,” Tour director Christian Prudhomme 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 spectator, a 30-year-old French woman, was holding a cardboard sign when she leaned onto the race path in an attempt to attract the attention of TV camera crews.

German Tony Martin was sent tumbling when he rode straight into the sign, causing a horrifying pile up that sent the riders behind him crashing to the ground.

Twenty-one cyclists were seriously hurt in what’s being called the worst crash in Tour de France history.

The woman, who had admitted fault, was arrested on Wednesday in the town of Landerneau after presenting herself to police.

It is understood that she still may face charges following the opening of a criminal inquiry into the crash.

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