07:39 GMT25 July 2021
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    French police launched a criminal investigation following the incident, with the perpetrator being accused of “deliberately violating safety regulations and causing injuries”. Reports say that if found guilty, the woman, whose name has not been revealed, will face up to a year in prison and a fine of almost $18,000.

    Police have arrested a woman who caused a huge crash at the world-famous Tour de France bicycle race, local radio RTL reported, citing its source. According to the outlet, she was detained in the town of Landerneau and is now in police custody.

    In addition to the criminal investigation, the woman will be sued by the bicycle competition.

    "This is unacceptable behaviour. There are safety rules to follow. Spectators don't cross the road, they don't take selfies. Frankly, her attitude was insane. The Tour must remain a party but because of the attitude of a very small minority, it is ruined. We can no longer accept this. We are [suing her] so that the tiny minority of people who do this do not spoil the show for everyone”, said Tour de France Deputy Director Pierre-Yves Thouault.

    Like a War Scene

    The incident occurred on 26 June during the first stage of the race between Brest and Landerneau. The woman, who apparently wanted to be caught by cameras, walked onto the road with a huge sign reading "Allez Opi-Omi" ("Go Grandpa-Grandma"). However, she did so with her back turned the bicyclers.

    She was first hit by German cyclist Tony Martin, who fell to the ground and then caused a domino effect involving some 50 athletes.

    ​21 bicyclers received injuries of various degrees. Renowned cyclist Jasha Suetterlin of Team DSM had to pull out of the entire contest along with another German athlete.

    Gilbert Versier, an orthopaedic surgeon who has worked at the Tour de France for 11 years, compared the incident to witnessing a military conflict.

    "It looks like a war scene. The same chaos, the same moans, bodies everywhere and tangled machines. You can't imagine so much breakage", he said.

    The woman fled the scene and was on the run for four days.

    Tags:
    accidents, safety, Tour de France
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