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Spectator to be sued after Tour de France crash

/ 02:26 AM June 27, 2021
Tour de France

Team B&B KTM’s Bryan Coquard of France (R) and a Team Alpecin Fenix’s rider lie on the ground after crashing during the 1st stage of the 108th edition of the Tour de France cycling race, 197 km between Brest and Landerneau, on June 26, 2021. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / various sources / AFP)

The roadside fan who caused a giant crash at the Tour de France on Saturday is to be sued by the organizers.

The woman concerned held up a banner slightly into the road and was looking straight at the television motorbike cameras with her back turned on the speeding peloton.

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German rider Tony Martin brushed past her and was knocked off balance racing near the head of the peloton, and when he fell it caused a horrifying domino effect ending in a tangle of bikes and bodies.

DSM’s German rider Jasha Sutterlin was the only one who had to pull out at that moment but several people were hurt, including spectators.

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“We are suing this woman who behaved so badly,” Tour deputy director Pierre-Yves Thouault told AFP.

“We are doing this so that the tiny minority of people who do this don’t spoil the show for everyone,” he said.

Italian champion Sonny Colbrelli and Dutch rider Wout van Aert, who ran over Martin before falling head over heels, had both been among the favorites to win the first stage hilltop finish but were both badly delayed.

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Two Ineos riders Richie Porte and Tao Geoghegan Hart both lost time, while champion Tadej Pogacar saw his right hand man Marc Hirschi badly hurt.

According to regional newspaper Ouest France the woman who was wearing a yellow jacket fled the scene and has yet to be found.

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