Tour de France drops lawsuit over sign crash


The spectator can be seen holding a sign

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The Tour de France has withdrawn a lawsuit against a spectator suspected of causing a huge crash by waving a sign in the riders’ path on Saturday.

The peloton was 45km (28 miles) from the end of the first stage, when her sign clipped German rider Tony Martin.

He fell to the ground and caused dozens of other riders to follow suit, in what was one of the Tour de France’s worst ever crashes.

The woman was arrested, but now the Tour has dropped the case.

“We are withdrawing our complaint. This story has been blown out of proportion but we wish to remind everyone of the safety rules on the race,” Tour director Christian Prudhomme told the Reuters news agency.

“If you come to the Tour, you hold your kid, you hold your pet and don’t cross the road carelessly. And above all, you respect the riders – they’re the ones worthy of live TV.”

Video footage of the incident has been shared widely online.

The woman can be seen holding a sign with “granny and granddad” written in German. She is looking away from the peloton coming towards her and does not see them approach, while leaning into the road.

As a result of the crash, two riders had to pull out of the Tour completely and another eight riders were treated for injuries.

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The crash held up the race, which was between between Brest and Landerneau in north-west France, for five minutes, while bikes and riders were untangled and cleared from the road.

The woman, who is French, was taken into custody in Landerneau.

France has relaxed its coronavirus restrictions and many people have flocked to see the riders.

On Tuesday, riders stopped for around a minute in a silent protest over safer racing conditions after a series of crashes.

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