Tour De France Withdraws Lawsuit Against Spectator Who Caused Mass Crash
Tour de France organisers have withdrawn a lawsuit against the spectator who caused one of the race’s worst crashes.
The pile-up took place on Saturday, June 26, as the peloton was around 45km away from the end of the first stage. However, for dozens of competitors, their time in the race was cut short after an unnamed woman’s sign clipped Tony Martin, who tumbled to the ground along with many, many others.
At least 21 people sustained injuries, with some suffering broken ribs and several forced to exit the Tour early. However, despite stern words in the wake of the incident, the organisers have since pulled their lawsuit.
The news was first reported by Reuters, coming after Tour de France deputy director Pierre-Yves Thouault said: ‘We are suing this woman who behaved so badly… we are doing this so that the tiny minority of people who do this don’t spoil the show for everyone,’ as per AFP.
However, director Christian Prudhomme has confirmed the complaint won’t be going ahead. ‘This story has been blown out of proportion but we wish to remind everyone of the safety rules on the race. 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,’ he said.
The woman was arrested by police and held in Landerneau, Brittany, after fleeing the scene and allegedly attempting to leave the country. At the time of the crash, she was holding a sign for her grandparents without looking at the oncoming cyclists.
Marc Soler, one of the affected cyclists, has aired his intent to take the woman to court after suffering fractures to his elbows and wrist, bringing his Tour to an early end. ‘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,’ he said, as per Cycling News.
On Tuesday, June 29, riders brought the Tour to a halt at the beginning of stage four as part of a silent protest for safer racing conditions. The rider’s union (CPA) said their ‘frustration about foreseeable and preventable action is enormous.’
‘The riders have been discussing how they wish to proceed to show their dissatisfaction with safety measures in place and demand their concerns are taken seriously,’ the CPA said in a statement.
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