Police are on the hunt for a cycling fan that went too far at the Tour de France this week. During the first stage of the gruelling cycling race, a 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 got a little too close to the action, colliding with a number of competitors and causing carnage out on the course.
The worst Tour de France crash I've ever seen pic.twitter.com/1jngQE1pYg
— daniel mcmahon (@cyclingreporter) June 26, 2021
Footage of the crash shows the woman knocking one rider off his bike, causing a chain reaction of falls decimating the entire race group. In total, 26 riders suffered injuries as a result of the incident with DSM’s German rider Jasha Sutterlin forced to pull out of the race altogether. As the video made its way around social media, several users were dumbfounded by the stupidity of the act. Twitter user @cyclingreporter wrote: “The worst Tour de France crash I’ve ever seen.”
Now, the woman at the centre of the fall finds herself in serious trouble. Tour de France deputy director Pierre-Yves Thoualt told Agence France-Presse that legal action was being taken against the woman.
“We are sueing 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 do not spoil the show for everyone.”
Once identified, the woman faces charges of ‘deliberately violating safety regulations and so causing injuries that might prevent someone working for up to three months’. According to the Daily Mail, this is an indictable offence punishable with up to a year in prison and a fine equivalent to just under £13,000.
Race director Christian Prudhomme slammed the French public for turning out in force and behaving ‘inadmissibly’ after the relaxation of the coronavirus lockdown. Earlier in the week there were reports that flares and fireworks had been set off by the roadside as riders were speeding past them. “You come here to see heroes,” he told French media. “If you want to see yourself look in the mirror.”