Watch: The Moment a Selfie-Taking ‘Clown’ Caused a Massive Tour de France Crash

The spectator curse has struck the Tour de France once more. On Sunday, stage 15 of the iconic cycling event was thrown into chaos when a huge pile-up saw dozens of riders hurled from their bikes and onto the asphalt. While not unusual to see crashes during the sprint sections of the race, particularly as competitors jostle for position, this time around it was an overstepping fan that caused the turmoil. Shockingly, the massive Tour de France crash was the result of a spectator making contact with a rider whilst attempting to take a selfie. Let’s hope he got the shot.

Related: Watch a Crazed Fan Cause the ‘Worst Tour de France Crash’ Ever Seen

Aftermath of crash during Stage 15 of 2023 Tour de France | Image: FloBikes/YouTube
Aftermath of crash during Stage 15 of 2023 Tour de France | Image: FloBikes/YouTube

The Tour de France crash occurred during one of the more innocuous stage sections, which generally sees the riders travel through smaller towns on the outskirts of Les Gets les Portes du Soleil on their way to Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc. Around 50kms into the stage, however, disaster struck.

Footage of the incident appears to show a spectator reaching out from the crowd, where they inadvertently make contact with Jumbo rider, Sepp Kuss. The touch, while slight, was enough to send the rider tumbling into his fellow cyclists, causing a massive pile-up.

Aftermath of crash during Stage 15 of 2023 Tour de France | Image: FloBikes/YouTube
Aftermath of crash during Stage 15 of 2023 Tour de France | Image: FloBikes/YouTube

“Someone taking a selfie on the side of the road,” Global Cycling Network commentator Dan Lloyd said during the broadcast. “It was one of the Jumbo riders who was clipped by them enough that he lost control … just somebody stepping too far out, trying to take a picture, clipping the riders who are hugging one side of the road to the other, and this is the consequence of that.”

Around 20 riders were toppled from the bikes, leading to an extensive delay in the race timings with several treating for minor injuries. Thankfully, riders were able to resume the race a short time after the crash, however, the incident does reflect a worrying trend for the sport.

In 2021, a fan caused the ‘worst Tour de France crash ever’ during the first stage of the gruelling cycling race. The woman was seen stepping out onto the road, holding a sign that read ‘Allez Opi-Omi’, which translates to ‘Go Grandma and Grandpa’. Unfortunately, she made contact with one rider, knocking him off his bike and causing a chain reaction of falls that saw 26 riders suffer injuries.

Speaking on a podcast this week, cycling legend Sam Bewley lamented the state of fan interaction on the Tour de France, arguing that there isn’t much organisers can do.

“When we saw the crash of Chris Nailins and the crash of other people like this throughout the tour; they’re racing incidents,” the two-time Olympic medallist said. “It’s what people expect. It’s the waiver that they sign. ‘I’m happy to take that risk on my shoulders’. Nobody is signing on to be taken out by a clown with a camera. It just happens every year. The spectators for the Tour de France are what makes this sport so cool and so amazing, so you can’t just put barriers along 180kms worth of road, it’s not conceivable to do it. You just have to basically plead with these people, year after year.”

According to Reuters, the gendarmerie has identified the spectator responsible for the crash, however, has outlined that it “will not arrest them unless Kuss wishes to take matters further”. However, a spokesperson for Jumbo-Visma didn’t rule out the possibility of legal action. As Global Cycling Network tweeted after the crash, the obvious solution to the Tour’s problem may simply be a bit of common respect.

“The fans are what make our sport as exciting, dramatic and unique as it is, but with a crash caused by one not paying attention today, we’d like to remind all fans to respect the riders and allow them space to race”.

Featured Video from Man of Many

Nick Hall

Nick Hall

Nick Hall is an award-winning journalist and the current Editor-in-Chief of Man of Many. With an extensive background in the media industry, he specialises in feature writing, lifestyle and entertainment content. Nick is a former Mumbrella Publish Awards ‘Editor of the Year’ and B&T's ‘Best of the Best – Journalist’ category winner.

Prior to working at the men’s lifestyle publication, Nick spent two years as a journalist with Inside Franchise Business, focusing on small business, finance and legal reporting.