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.
Crazy crash at Tour De France 2021 🇫🇷— Nigel D'Souza (@Nigel__DSouza) June 26, 2021
A fan who was holding a message to her grandparents & grinning for the cameras took out most of the peloton with a cardboard sign 🚴♀️ 🚴♂️ 🚴 #TDF2021 pic.twitter.com/OEZmiSjBE9
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.