CHATEAUROUX, France — Tour de France organizers have withdrawn their lawsuit against a spectator who caused a massive crash on the first stage.
Organizers made the decision in a bid to defuse the situation after the careless spectator was placed in custody, race spokesperson Fabrice Tiano said on Thursday.
Gendarmes in Brittany arrested her on Wednesday, four days after the accident brought down dozens of riders and forced German rider Jasha Sutterlin to abandon the race.
The spectator brandished a large cardboard sign while leaning into the path of oncoming riders. She appeared to be looking in the other direction, apparently at a camera, and not at the approaching peloton.
The woman, not publicly identified, was arrested in the Finistere region by gendarmes who tracked her down based on accounts from people questioned this week, France Bleu Finistere radio said, citing a source close to the probe. Investigators spoke to dozens of people since the incident on Saturday, the local station added.
Tour organizers announced after the crash on the stage from Brest to Landerneau that they would start legal proceedings against the fan, who disappeared from the crash scene. She leaned into the path of veteran rider Tony Martin, whose fall had a domino effect on the peloton.
The Gendarmerie du Landerneau, east of Brest, put out a call for witnesses shortly after the pileup. It refused to comment on the reported arrest.
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