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Police Searching For Tour De France Spectator Whose Placard Caused Huge Crash

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Police Searching For Tour De France Spectator Whose Placard Caused Huge Crash

The fan who caused a huge crash during the Tour De France is set to be sued, the organisers have said. Watch the shocking pile-up unfold below:

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Police are searching for a woman who stepped out into the road during the first stage of the grueling cycling race while holding a sign that said 'Allez Opi-Omi', which translates to 'Go Grandma and Grandpa'.

In a video of the incident, the woman can be seen colliding with one of the riders Tony Martin, which sets of a chain reaction, with dozens of other competitors being flung from their bikes as a result.

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Aerial footage of the crash was shared on social media, including by one user called @cyclingreporter, who wrote: "The worst Tour de France crash I've ever seen."

And speaking to AFP, race Deputy Director Pierre-Yves Thouault said legal action was being taken, as the organisation wanted to make an example of the spectator involved to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.

A fan holding a sign caused a massive pile-up in stage one of the Tour de France. Credit: Twitter/Eurosport
A fan holding a sign caused a massive pile-up in stage one of the Tour de France. Credit: Twitter/Eurosport

He said: "We are suing this woman who behaved so badly.

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"We are doing this so that the tiny minority of people who do this don't spoil the show for everyone."

A spokesperson for the Finistere gendarmerie, the local police force, said: "The spectator who caused this accident left the scene before the arrival of the investigators.

"Everything is being done to try and find her."

The Daily Mail reports prosecutors confirmed the fan could be charged with 'deliberately violating safety regulations and so causing injuries that might prevent someone working for up to three months', which could land her a fine of just under £13,000 or up to a year in prison.

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The incident took place in the final 45km of the first stage, with the peloton in pursuit of Ide Schelling, who had broken away from the pack.

Jumbo-Visma was leading the chase, with Martin on the right-hand side of the road.

In a congested field and with his route obstructed by the woman holding the sign, Martin had nowhere to go and crashed into her.

German cyclist Tony Martin rides with injuries to his arm after the incident. Credit: PA
German cyclist Tony Martin rides with injuries to his arm after the incident. Credit: PA
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As a result of the crash, Martin injured his arm and had to stop to get a new bike.

Martin later said in a press statement: "We had everything under control until the crash.

"I brought the guys to the front via the right side of the road, but crashed into the sign of the spectator.

"It all happened very quickly; suddenly almost the entire team was on the ground.

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"Many spectators behave respectfully, but unfortunately not this one.

"Fortunately, Primoz [Roglic] came through it well. I hope the physical damage to myself and the other guys is manageable."

According to the Guardian, Slovenian superstar Primoz Roglic also went down 'heavily' in the incident, along with the 'whole Jumbo Visma team'.

Only a few riders were able to avoid the crash, including Dutch cyclist Schelling. Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe went on to win the first stage.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Crash, Cycling, fan, France

Dominic Smithers
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