On Saturday, during the first stage of this year’s Tour de France, a woman moved out into the path of a whole lot of cyclists to show off her handmade sign to the TV cameras. Because she was so pumped to let everyone know she’d written “Allez Opi-Omi!” (basically, “let’s go, grandpa-grandma!”) on a piece of cardboard, this enthusiastic supporter didn’t notice that Germany’s Tony Martin was riding up behind her. The result, which is now leading to the woman being sued by Tour de France, looked like this:
After the huge crash that resulted from Martin’s fall left a number of cyclists and other spectators injured (France24 reports that another German rider, Jasha Sütterlin, was forced to drop out of the race), the sign-holder fled the scene. While local police are still trying to find her, Tour de France deputy director Pierre-Yves Thouault announced that his organization is “suing this woman who behaved so badly.” They are singling her out “so that the tiny minority of people who do this don’t spoil the show for everyone.” He added: “I want to stress that you come see the Tour, you don’t take selfies, you keep your kids close to you.”
While it may be better for Tour de France to just put more barriers in place between fans and competitors to keep this kind of thing from happening so often, the riders involved are understandably pissed about the fan’s behavior.
Tony Martin, the enormous pile-up’s rider zero, posted on Instagram that he’s “fine after the bad crash yesterday.” But he also said he’d like spectators to stop doing shit like “[risking] everything for a selfie with a 50 km/h fast peloton” or “[thinking] it’s nice to show their naked butt” or get drunk and “push us sideways on the climbs.”
“Use your head or stay home!” he concludes. “We don’t want you here. You risk our life and our dreams for that we work so hard!”
We suppose, given the news, that the “you” Martin refers to not will not only have to answer for all of the above, but also wear a costume Groucho disguise for the rest of their lives if they want to avoid facing the legal wrath of the Tour de France, too.
[via The Washington Post]
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