The Tour de France got underway but not without a major accident that ended some riders’ dreams right at the starting line.
And it is all thanks to a fan’s oblivious behavior.
We’ve written a bunch of stories here in the past about how someone’s need to be a shot can lead to disasters of one kind or the other but most of those articles about how social media is driving people to do stupid things.
This is actually a classic in that fans attending sporting events with stupid signs and even dumber behavior is probably as old as humanity itself. Only now we have the added weight of cameras to incentivize acting stupidly.
Before you start feeling sorry for the fan that caused the wreck, she fled the scene and France right after this performance before authorities could question her. Now there’s a bit of a search going on for her and, eventually, we’ll know who pulled this unfortunate stunt.
It all began when German competitor Tony Martin crashed into a sign that read in half-French, half-German “Allez Opi-Omi.” This began a cascade of tumbling bikers that led to injuries and Jasha Sutterlin’s total withdrawal from the race.
As you can imagine, the authorities in France are more than a little upset and are promising a lawsuit as soon as they find the woman behind the sign.
Tour deputy director Pierre-Yves Thouault said to Agence France-Presse, “We are suing this woman who behaved so badly. We are doing this so that the tiny minority of people who do this don’t spoil the show for everyone.”
Race director Christian Prudhomme reminded people who the focus of the Tour de France was and that is the bicyclists themselves, not random spectators.
“When we come to the tour route, it is to admire the champions, otherwise we have nothing to do with it. You have to be careful and not let yourself be carried away by enthusiasm. And above all, those who deserve television are the runners.”
Christian Prudhomme added, “The spectators do not come to see each other, they have their mirror for that.”
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