Woman arrested after causing mass Tour de France crash with cardboard sign – report

The spectator who caused a massive pile-up at the Tour de France has been arrested, according to a report by Reuters.

A 30-year-old French woman is in custody after presenting herself at a police station in Landerneau, Brittany, a source close to the investigation told the news agency.

She is accused of involuntarily causing injury and putting the life of others at risk during the opening stage of this year’s peloton.

On Saturday, German cyclist Tony Martin was sent tumbling when he rode straight into a cardboard sign being held out by a fan looking the other way at a television camera.

The sign said “Allez Opi-Omi” (Come on granddad-granny, in a mix of French and German).

The collision caused a domino effect, wiping out multiple riders around 47km (29 miles) from the end of the Brest-Landerneau stage.

Another German rider, Jasha Sutterlin, was the only cyclist who had to abandon the race but several people were hurt, including spectators.

There was also a second crash about 7.5km (4.6 miles) from the finish which brought down several riders, including British cyclist Chris Froome, who went on to finish the race after medical treatment.

The stage was won by French world champion Julian Alaphilippe.

At the time a senior race official reportedly said organisers would be taking legal action against the woman.

“We are suing this woman who behaved so badly,” tour deputy director Pierre-Yves Thouault told the AFP news agency.

“We are doing this so that the tiny minority of people who do this don’t spoil the show for everyone,” he added.

Stage three, won by Belgian Tim Merlier, also saw crashes and several riders criticised race organisers over the route.

It led Tour de France riders to put their collective foot down at the start of the stage four race on Tuesday.

They brought the race to a halt for around a minute in a silent protest for safer racing conditions. It was later won by Briton Mark Cavendish.

Tour organisers have warned fans to “respect the safety of the riders”, adding: “Don’t risk everything for a photo or to get on television.”

Wednesday’s fifth stage was a 27.2km individual time trial from Change to Laval. It was won by Slovenian Tadej Pogacar.

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