By Chris King •
Updated: 02 Jun 2022 • 15:13
The unnamed spectator who caused a huge crash during this year’s Tour de France, after a trial in the French city of Brest, has been given a four-month suspended prison sentence. After standing in the path of the peloton of riders during the first stage of the race, waving a cardboard sign at the television cameras that read “Allez, Opi-Omi”, the 31-year-old started a chain reaction that saw around half of the field taken down.
She claimed to have been unaware that the riders were approaching as she stepped into the road, but then German rider Tony Martin from the Jumbo-Visma team clipped into her, sending him to the ground. This caused a multiple pile-up behind Martin, with one Team DSM rider, Spain’s Marc Soler, being so badly hurt that he had to retire from the race after breaking his arms.
She initially fled from the scene, but four days later, after being hunted by the police, she handed herself in. The judge charged her with endangering lives and causing unintentional injuries. Addressing the court, she said, “I am ashamed. I am a quiet person. Everything that has happened is the opposite of who I am”.
“The public is key to cycling races, it must remain that way, but it must be done with respect for the physical integrity of the riders”, commented a lawyer for the riders association, adding, “This case is representative of what can happen with people who want to take centre-stage themselves with pictures, videos. It has to be done with a minimum of common sense and this was not the case there”, as reported by uk.news.yahoo.com.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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