Police hunt for female Tour de France spectator, who is on the run and faces up to a year in PRISON after causing a massive crash with her placard… and organisers want to sue her after 21 riders were injured
- The cycling fan caused one of the worst crashes in Tour de France history
- There is now a criminal enquiry into the suspect who has not been identified
- The Tour de France kicked off on Saturday with the riders rolling out of Brest
- Spectator wiped-out Jumbo-Visma’s Tony Martin at the front of the peloton
- More than 100 riders were stalled, with several lying injured on the road
A female cycling fan faces up to a year in prison after causing one of the worst crashes the history of the Tour de France and then running away.
Prosecutors in Brittany, in the north of the country, on Sunday launched a criminal enquiry after the female suspect – who had not been identified and who is on the run – was filmed causing the chaos on Saturday.
She was smiling broadly as she held a carboard sign in front of the peloton riding from Brest to Landeneau on the first stage of this year’s world-famous race.
A roadside spectator caused a massive crash in the Tour de France on Saturday with a banner
Tony Martin had nowhere to go when the supporter stepped out, looking at the TV cameras
The massive accident caused a massive blockage and saw more than 20 riders hit the deck
It read ‘Go! Gran, Grandad,’ in a combination of French and German, and was clearly aimed at millions of viewers from around the world.
The woman, who is said to be from Germany, was looking straight at the television motorbike cameras with her back turned to the speeding riders and one – the German Tony Martin – crashed into her.
Martin fell, causing a horrifying domino effect that ended in a tangle of bikes and bodies.
There were numerous serious injuries, including ones to Jasha Sutterlin, another German rider who had to pull out of the entire contest.
‘The spectator who caused this accident left the scene before the arrival of the investigators,’ said a spokesman for the Finistere gendarmerie. ‘Everything is being done to try and find her.
Tony Martin was the man brought down initially, left with some road rash on his left side
‘She was wearing glasses and dressed in blue jeans, a red and white striped sweater, and a waxed yellow jacket.’
Prosecutors meanwhile confirmed that they had opened a criminal enquiry for ‘deliberately violating safety regulations and so causing injuries that might prevent someone working for up to three months.’
This is an indictable offence in France punishable with up to a year in prison and a fine equivalent to just under £13,000.
Pierre-Yves Thouault, the deputy race director of the Tour de France, also said that organisers had filed a complaint against the woman who could now be facing legal action from the tour.
Julian Alaphilippe, who came down in the crash, remounted and went on to take victory
‘This is unacceptable behaviour,’ he said.’ There are safety rules to follow. Spectators don’t cross the road, they don’t take selfies.
‘Frankly, her attitude was insane. The show is the riders, not spectators who want to be on TV.
‘The Tour must remain a party but because of the attitude of a very small minority, it is ruined. We can no longer accept this.
‘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.’